Position Analysis Heuristic
with Examples and Sample to Analyze

Overview

Claim - statement made as truth or having absolute value

Diagram imageData - information or facts that support the claim.

Warrants - philosophies, beliefs, assumptions, or rules that we believe justify the connection between the data and the conclusion.

Qualifier - are conditions under which the claim may not hold (exceptions to the rule).

Conclusion - decision for action.

 

Example 1

Claim
Students should be given opportunities to discover mistakes on their own without the teacher telling them they are incorrect.

Data
Students sometimes collect inaccurate information, use previous ideas (misconceptions) to draw conclusions, and use faulty logic when making them.

Warrant

Qualifier
Students need supervision to insure a safe environment. For example, students will communicate their procedures to teachers before they begin, so safety will be insured and learning can be facilitated.

Conclusion
Scientific experimentation should not depend on an authority figure. The results should depend on accurate observation and logical reasoning. Students should be allowed to experience the consequences of their investigations.

Example 2:

Claim
Students should be corrected when they are mistaken.

Data
Students collect inaccurate information, use previous ideas (misconceptions) to make conclusions, and use faulty logic when making them.

 

Warrant
Students should not be allowed to learn incorrect or misleading ideas.

Qualifier
Students should be corrected when possible except in the case of “useful fictions” that are not too far wrong and that facilitate learning of the correct thing when students are able to comprehend it.

Conclusion
Students should not be allowed to leave an activity with false and misleading conclusions.

Example for you

Analyze this:

A study found that smaller class size significantly increased the achievement of students and increased their positive attitudes toward school and themselves. Authors of the study felt that smaller class size contributed to these positive effects by: creating a positive teacher morale for smaller classes, allowed teachers more time to spend with individual students, less students created an instructional atmosphere that was less hectic, and students had more time on task. The study also showed that while all students achieved more on the average lower ability students achieved less than higher ability students. Thus, attempts to enable lower ability students an opportunity to catch-up instead allowed the higher ability students to move further ahead.

 

More examples

Claim

Learners should be provided with opportunities to develop critical thinking skills.

Data
Research suggests learners think critically when the curriculum is based on problem solving and reasoning.

Warrant
Critical thinking is necessary for personal understanding and decision making in the classroom and in life.

Qualifier
Learners should experience critical thinking except when student safety is a concern.

Conclusion
Schools need to provide opportunities for students to become analytical life long learners.

Another example

Claim

Standards are not necessary as required educational outcomes.

Data

Warrant

Qualifier

High professional standards can be used to guide teachers to make curricular choices.

Conclusion

Professional educators know best how to make curricular decisions to meet their student needs. Professional educators should be empowered to make curricular decisions.

Another example

Claim

Students should have opportunities for cooperative learning experiences to increase achievement and enhance their social skills.

Data

Warrant

Qualifier

Cooperative groups are only one part of a classroom setting. Whole class participation for discussion, sharing, and learning with other instruction models is also important to achieve a variety or learning outcomes.

Conclusion

Cooperative learning needs to be significantly included as a model of instruction to increase student achievement and their effective use of social skills.

 

Dr. Robert Sweetland's notes
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