Helping students employ complex reasoning skills by making the steps of writing a synthesis argument clear, transferable, and applicable to the real world.

by Alana Margeson

Grades 9-12


One thing that I think is really important is to help students see the value of developing complex reading skills, not just for school, but for life as well.

There are two parts to developing a capacity for deploying this skill:

-Making clear what complex reasoning really means beyond simply using words and terms like analysis, synthesis and analogical reasoning, and helping them better understand the process of using them, and

-Making sure they understand the process of complex reasoning by giving them strategies that become embedded and that are transferable to life outside of school.

Ultimately, who we are and what we come think in this world comes from a bombardment of multiple inputs and sources. More than ever, we have to take in, synthesize, and analyze what we believe and know, while at the same time recognize that there may be many competing points of view. Helping kids navigate through this is at the center of what it means to be a teacher.

About Alana Margeson

Alana Margeson is an English and AP English Language & Composition teacher in northern Maine at Caribou High School. She is the 2012 Maine Teac...

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