Explanation of Articulation Method

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As described previously, articulation involves any method of getting students to articulate their knowledge, reasoning, or problem-solving processes.
It helps students both to focus their observations of expert problem solving and to gain conscious access to (and control of) their own problem-solving strategies.

Then, how would you use the articulation method in actual instructions? You might say, "ask them to explain", or "I propose questions for them to answer." 
-- Are you doing well or not? Information below may give you more inspiration.

Three Ways of Articulation[edit]

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Conceptual Map of Articulation Method

Inquiry Teaching & Learning[edit]

Questioning students to lead them to articulate and refine their understanding of concepts and procedures in different domains.

For example, an inquiry teacher in reading might systematically question students about why one summary of the text is good but another is poor, to get the students to formulate an explicit model of a good summary.

This way includes three categories of strategies:

1. Getting students to identify hypotheses (cases, factors, rules, predictions, etc.).
For example, getting students to formulate general rules on the factors affecting average temperature.
There are three forms of identification strategies:
a. Questioning (ask for)
The teacher asks the student to think about sufficient/necessary/relevant factors, prior/intermediate/subsequent steps, similarities, differences, etc. This strategy is most commonly used among the three.
b. Suggesting (suggest)
The teacher does not try to elicit the information from the student, but instead proposes a factor, rule, prediction, etc. for the student to consider, without telling the student whether the proposed information is correct or not. It is used when the teacher wants students to think hypothetically.
c. Commenting (point out)
The teacher simply tells the student what the correct information is. It is used when the teacher does not think the student can generate the information.
2. Entrapping students into revealing their misconceptions about a domain.
The teacher can entrap students based on:
a. insufficient factors
b. unnecessary factors
c. irrelevant factors
d. incorrect values of factors
Example: In a geography class, a student thinks they grow rice in Louisiana because it rains a lot. The teacher questions him:
  • Can you grow rice anywhere there is a lot of rain? (insufficient factors)
  • Do you always need a lot of rain to grow rice? (unnecessary factors)
3. Getting students evaluate hypotheses.
The evaluation category shares the same forms of strategies as the identification category:
a. Questioning
b. Suggesting
c. Commenting
However, instead of "asking for" what are sufficient/necessary/relevant factors, prior/intermediate/subsequent steps, similarities, or differences, the teacher asks students if factors are sufficient or insufficient, if a rule is correct or not, etc.

Assisted Monologue[edit]

Encouraging students to articulate their thoughts as they carry out their problem solving.

An exemplar framework is:

1. Procedural facilitation
Before doing the task, the teacher lead students to think aloud by answering questions like "An important point I haven't considered is..." and "Someone might think I'm exaggerating because...". The teacher scaffolds during this process.
2. Modeling thought
Modeling is used during the task process, both with the teacher as model and with students modeling for each other, with and without cues, and with follow-up discussions of the thinking strategies exhibited.
3. Direct strategy instruction
The teacher directly teaches important cognitive strategies to students, and get students to revise their work.

Criticizing & Monitoring[edit]

Having students assume the critic or monitor role in cooperative activities, and thereby lead students to formulate and articulate their ideas to other students.

An example is from the reciprocal teaching of reading. In reciprocal teaching, students not only produce good questions and summaries, but they also learn to evaluate the summaries or questions of others. By becoming critics as well as producers, students are forced to articulate their knowledge about what makes a good question, prediction, or summary.


NOTE: There is no best strategy among the strategies introduced above. Each of them promotes the effectiveness of instruction. 
They can be used individually or synthetically, according to specific contexts.

Click Application of Articulation below to continue:

CA Articulation home page Cognitive Apprenticeship Practice of CA Articulation Application of Articulation