Element 10.11: Asks students to summarize or synthesize learning before moving on
Why is this important?
Requiring that students stop and bring their ideas or learning to that point to a single understanding means that the students have to process the material or instruction provided thus far and make sense of it. Otherwise, students are left trying to learn the instructor's or author's or expert's thinking instead of making the learning their own. This is a vulnerable state as it means that if a student forgets part of the algorithm taught, steps taught or conclusion provided, the student has no way to build on the learning. By insisting that students consolidate their learning, the teacher provides critical scaffolding to help students internalize knowledge and skills, enabling them to be able to extend, build on, transfer and apply that understanding. Taking the time to have students summarize and synthesize is the key to teaching for transfer.
You may want to start here:
Read through the following quotes to get a sense of the difference between summarizing and synthesizing and the power of each when learning:
1. Summarization is the restating of the main ideas of the text in as few words as possible. It can be done in writing, orally, through drama, through art and music, in groups and individually. There is extensive research that shows that summarization is among the top nine most effective teaching strategies in the history of education (Marzano, Pickering, and Pollock, 2001). Teachers who start a lesson by summarizing the big points in the day's lesson and end by having students summarize their learning see gains in the retention of the material. https://wvde.state.wv.us/strategybank/summarization.html
3. Synthesizing takes the process of summarizing one step further. Instead of just restating the important points from text, synthesizing involves combining ideas and allowing an evolving understanding of text. Into the Book defines synthesizing as “[creating] original insights, perspectives, and understandings by reflecting on text(s) and merging elements from text and existing schema.” For students, the site provides the simpler “Put pieces together to see them in a new way.” [...] As with summarizing, this higher-order thinking skill needs explicit instruction and modeling. http://beyondpenguins.ehe.osu.edu/issue/climate-change-and-the-polar-regions/summarizing-and-synthesizing-whats-the-difference
See it in action:
After exploring this high impact strategy:
1. What are your most important takeaways?
2. In what ways do you anticipate this will impact or shift your practice?
3. What questions do you have at this point?