For me the most important part of the lesson is when a student gives input – if I am helping a student edit work during a writing conference, I am very careful to make sure that the final result remains the student’s words.
Content: How do students of any age prove their knowledge? Usually, through some form of test taking. And my role is to help improve the student’s ability to get credit for learning. I have worked with many a student who didn’t realize how important it is to respond directly to the question. As a tutor I value all the extra free thinking I get to hear, but I know that certain forms of testing still want very focused responses and a deliberate review of in class material.
Words on a page form an argument, present a point of view and establish proof of accepting or rejecting the assigned materials a teacher is testing on. For example, if a student is being asked to discuss a current event, the teacher marking the paper will be looking not only for clear grammar and punctuation, but most importantly for the discussion itself; how was the argument formulated? I’m going to try to be extra clear now- and mention that Academic argument is not the same as a “fight”. It is closest to an examination of a point of view, a sharing of an opinion with an attempt to support that opinion through strong examples.