Solo has, via a great deal of research into students’ thinking identified itself as having the following level.
I like solo for a number of reasons including its versatility in helping thinking for learning as well as a planning aid. But, always a but, I find the jump between relational to EA rather large and not as intuitive as the steps between the other stages. I have been thinking about what might be needed between those two stages. What does one do to move from relational, connecting knowledge items in a useful way, to then move to EA, applying that knew understanding to another context?
It seems to me that to do that one has to have some deep understanding of the underlying structure of the now related knowledge. What are the features that the related knowledge is connected by?
The common example of deep knowledge is given by the two sentences:
The cat sat on the mat
The dog sat in the box.
These two sentences are identifying different situations. Not least one is about a cat and one is about a dog.
But the underlying feature is of an item above another. The cat above the mat and the dog above the base of the box. When we recognise this underlying structure it is then possible to create ‘new’ scenarios. One could have:
The surfboard was on the water. This has the same deep structure, even though it is a very simple idea.
So I am proposing having an additional stage in solo so the model looks like:
Deep – meaning the identification of the underlying structure(s) of the knowledge being explored
(I think I have a symbol for this level. It will be a D with dots on the line that makes the D shape.)
I would welcome any views on this and especially anyone who tries this out in the classroom. Does it support children moving to EA. (I don’t want to advocate a rush to EA. The earlier stages must be completed securely and thoughtfully. They have their own intrinsic value.)