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EXAMPLES OF DIFFERENT PERFORMANCES

Imagine the essay topic: Discuss the influences of nature and nurture on the development of children’s ethical systems.A pre-structural response might, for example, say something along the lines of “Children are well know to develop ethical systems when they are young. Such systems affect the way they behave. Nature is about flowers and animals and the world around us. Parents, including most animals, nurture their offspring when the offspring are too weak or inexperienced to cope with the world unaided” and so on (a ‘brain dump’ stimulated by the words in the question is one example of a pre-structural response).A uni-structural response might outline the influence of nature (genetic inheritance etc) on the development of a child’s ethical system, or it might simply detine and acrurately. describe ethical systems.A multi-structural response might outline the influencesof both factor, but never bring together and balance theirinfluences.

A relational response will answer the question, describing the influences, their interaction and their balance. An extended abstract response would cover the ground of the relational response, but then might, for example, go onto set this in the context of various theories of child development, or of ethical systems.The SOLO Taxonomy was developed by analyzing the structure of student responses to assessment tasks in response to give body of information or knowledge and identifying the type of thinking exhibited by extended written responses.

SOLO has been applied in many different school subjects: poetry, history mathematics, geography, science, economics, chemistry, computer studies and assessing attitudes towards teenage pregnancy (Kryzanowski, 1988).

The taxonomy consists of two major categories each containing two increasingly complex stage: surface and deep (Surface = Unistructural and Multi Structural; Deep = Relational and Extended Abstract) The taxonomy makes it possible, in the course of learning, teaching, or assessing a subject to identify in broad terms the level at which a student is currently operating. In the simplest language the SOLO taxonomy consists of four levels: one idea, multiple ideas, relating the ideas, and extending the ideas: one, many, relates, and extend.

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