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The important principle underlying this model is that understandings are built, not acquired.

The foundation and framework for understanding concepts is the prior knowledge and experience of the learner.
Step 1: Listing, Naming the Items: Students are asked to enumerate specific items
related to a subject. This data may be drawn from their own experience or from materials that has been studied in the classroom. Items should be written somewhere where
they are visibly accessible to all participants. Items listed must be specific or the next
step, grouping, will be confusing. It is important to have a comprehensive list from
which student generalizations can emerge, because generalizations have far more validity when they are based on a variety of data.
Step 2: Grouping, Categorizing the Items: When the teacher feels sufficient items
have been listed, it is time to move to the question, Which of the items we have listed
go together because they are alike in some way? Students begin to examine the relationships between items. It is important in this step to ask students to explain the reasons for their choices. Even if the reasons seem obvious, students should be directed to
articulate their reasons.. Having to explain the label they give a particular group of
items forces students to articulate and defend their reasoning processes. The teacher
poses several other questions in this stage of the model. Do any of these items seem to
belong together? Why would you group them together?
Step 3: Labeling, Defining Relationships Between Items: Students give labels to the
newly formed groups. The sophistication of the labels depends on the age and background of the group. The teacher must remain passive so students feel their judgments
are valued by the teacher and the rest of the class. The purpose of labeling is to develop
the students skills in drawing inferences and in making generalizations as they decide
how to label the items they have grouped together. The teacher asks, What would you
call this group of items you have formed?
Step 4: Regrouping, Reanalyzing or Subsuming Items: This step centers around the
question, Are there items now in one group that you could put in another group? and,
later, Are there whole groups that could be placed under one of the other labels?
Again, ask for the learners reasoning here: Why do you think _____ belongs under
_____? Just as during the naming step the more obvious items come first, so with
grouping, the more obvious relationships are pointed out first. As time goes on, students will find out for themselves that every person, object, or ideas has many characteristics and may be grouped in many different ways.

Step 5: Synthesizing, Summarizing Data and Forming Generalizations: The


teacher now asks the class to look over the entire activity, consider all the labels, and
try to summarize all the information in one sentence. Can someone say in one sentence something about all these groups? Students must differentiate various items,
decide what the larger categories are to be, and what information is sub-ordinate and
what is super-ordinate. This stage gives students an opportunity to begin to appreciate
the richness and complexity of ideas. By looking at all the conflicting data at once, students begin to understand that the idea behind the topic is complex and fraught with a
variety of dimensions.
Evaluating Generalizations: Consider the following categories in evaluating generalizations.

Tentativeness: The statement avoids words such as all, always, never, and
instead. It uses words such as many, some, often, and seldom.
Abstractness: The statement uses broadly applicable, inclusive terms like
fruit, rather than specific, concrete terms, such as apples.
Accuracy: The statement is supported with evidence.
Qualification: The statement includes qualifying elements which limit the
statement, such as when ___, then _____.
Applicability: The statement yields testable hypotheses or predictions about
other, similar situations.