Monitoring The Ladder of Inference

This is a follow-up to The Knowledge Building Circle post.Today, we returned to the provocation for our inquiry: Canada has removed Humpback Whales from the threatened list, which we had discussed last week. Our purpose today was to reflect on how new information in the data pool influences and shapes our ladders, causing conclusions to change or stay the same.

I asked students to recall their initial reaction to the story.  In response to the information that the status of the whales had changed,  had they jumped up the ladder and come to a negative or positive conclusion?

We took some time to consider the origin of our initial conclusions (typos spotted in hindsight).

Next we read an article  adapted from this article in the Toronto Star. I used Premier Tools to quickly summarize the article to 80% of the original content, and then made a few adjustments.

Students then had to consider new information in the data pool and if their ladders had shifted or remained the same.

Finally I interviewed each student and had them orally explain the shifts in their thinking.
Here, my last year’s grade 7s explain the Ladder of Inference.


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