Education Evolutions // Impact Insights

Critical thinking skills foster student empowerment

Lana’s HIT academic coaches focus on argumentative writing that develops critical thinking skills and empowers students.

Lana’s High-Impact Tutoring(HIT) program at Theodore Roosevelt High School serves 9th grade students in math and English language arts (ELA). In April, math students were consistent with their attendance on days that they had scheduled HIT sessions and maintained an attendance rate of 100%. For ELA, attendance rates have dropped from 83% to 82%. As we move toward the end of the school year, we continue our argumentative writing unit in ELA. Our focal point is building critical thinking skills that empower students both inside and outside of the classroom.

This month, ELA students focused on research-based argumentative writing. Using research provided by their teacher, students practiced finding and analyzing evidence and defending their opinions. This argumentative essay topic focused on clothing factories and human rights concerns around the world. In addition to building writing skills, students also got the opportunity to learn more about global affairs. This goes to show the value that writing has beyond the classroom.

Argumentative writing is not merely a tool for academic success. It is a fundamental skill that empowers students to articulate their thoughts, analyze information critically, and engage with the world around them. Below is a general outline of why centering coaching sessions around argumentative writing is valuable for students at Roosevelt High School.

Building critical thinking skills

Argumentative writing prompts students to think critically about various topics, consider different perspectives, and form their own opinions supported by evidence. By learning about complex issues and defending their viewpoints through logical reasoning, students develop essential critical thinking skills that are invaluable both inside and outside the classroom. These skills lay a strong foundation for academic success across disciplines. Additionally, they equip students with the tools to navigate real-world challenges.

Fostering effective communication

Effective communication is a cornerstone of success in today’s interconnected world. Through argumentative writing, students learn how to articulate their ideas clearly and persuasively. This allows them to hone their ability to communicate with precision and impact. 

Encouraging civic engagement

In an era marked by social and political tension, it’s essential to cultivate informed and engaged citizens. Argumentative writing provides students with a platform to explore issues of social justice, ethics, and civic responsibility. We encourage students to research, analyze, and present arguments on topics of societal relevance. Therefore, our educators empower students to become active participants in shaping the world around them. Through meaningful discourse and dialogue, students learn to appreciate diverse perspectives and contribute constructively to their communities.

Promoting personal growth

Beyond its academic and civic benefits, argumentative writing plays a crucial role in fostering personal growth and self-expression. For many ninth graders, the transition to high school can be daunting, marked by uncertainty and self-discovery. Through writing, students have the opportunity to explore their interests, voice their opinions, and assert their identities. Whether they’re advocating for social change, expressing their creativity, or grappling with existential questions, argumentative writing serves as a vehicle for personal reflection and growth.

Students at Roosevelt High School in the HIT Tutoring program will continue to work on these argumentative writing skills for the remainder of the school year, and we are excited for continued progress to be made.

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