A generalization is two concepts and a relationship

Sample Generalization

Generalization - Trees have growth rings that show a direct relationship between the age of a tree and the environmental factors that affected the growth of that tree for that particular year.

Another generalization related to tree rings: Core samples from different trees can be organized based on observations of similar properties derived from the shape of their rings to match the rings of trees to the calendar year of their growth.

Generalization - The size, shape, and structure of an annual tree growth ring is a result of certain environmental conditions that positively and negatively affected the growth of the tree during the growing season.

How are generalizations facilitated, learned, assessed...?

Using the generalizations for tree rings some possible opportunities for students to learn or conceptualize this generalization.

Provide students with a picture or sample of a tree section with annual growth rings. For example: One tree section might have part of it blackened and misshaped, another narrower than the others, with a third having part missing. The question asked might be - explain possible causes for what you observe about the growth rings. Possible answers might include: it is possible that it was misshapen and darkened by fire, an other might be openings where bark was missing and wood carved out and scared by insects and woodpeckers digging out other insects, and the narrowness of the ring could have been caused by limited supply of water or light during the growing seasons or extremely low temperatures.

Give an example of a fact, concept, and generalization for these generalizations?

Fact - temperature is the measure of heat energy.

Concept - heat energy is the random or disorderly motion of molecules.

Generalization - The rate heat energy is transferred is related to the number of collisions, size of particles, mass of particles, (or density of particles) and the force of the collisions (temperature).

Remember - Most of the time people's conceptualizations are usually more similar than the way they can communicate them. This is expressed by the way that listener's eyes light up when another person finds a word to describe to her what she has conceptualized but not been able to communicate. Which is followed by simultaneous smiles of agreement and a simultaneous YES.

Conceptualization before communication, with communication following a hard and difficult second, but learners that take the time to develop deeper ways to communicate and represent their understanding are more likely to have stronger and greater connects for their understanding to other ideas - resulting in richer more useable information that will increase their opportunities to make connections to real life and to solve problems.

Rocks see rock cycle web
- Start with something like - Rocks are formed from pieces of earth that are eroded and joined together with pressure and heat. Low pressure and heat sedimentary, more pressure and heat metamorphic, and enough heat to reach molten, then igneous.

Classification concepts

Dr. Robert Sweetland's Notes ©