The purpose of the TRU domain-general and mathematics-specific Conversation Guides (Baldinger, Louie, & the Algebra Teaching Study and Mathematics Assessment Project, 2016; Louie, Baldinger, & the Algebra Teaching Study and Mathematics Assessment Project, 2016) is to facilitate coherent and ongoing discussions in which teachers, administrators, coaches, and others learn together. We hope that the questions in the Conversation Guide will support educators with different experiences, different expertise, and different strengths to work together to develop a common vision, common priorities, and common language, in order to collaboratively improve instruction and better support students to develop robust understandings.
The Conversation Guides can be used to support many different kinds of conversations, including (but not limited to):
- Conversations to develop common vision and priorities across groups of educators (such as subject-matter departments, grade-level teams, or an entire school faculty)
- Conversations between teachers and administrators and instructional coaches around classroom observations (see also the TRU Observation Guides)
- Conversations between teachers around peer observations
- Conversations around video recordings of classroom teaching and learning
- Conversations about planning a particular unit or lesson
- Conversations about a particular instructional strategy or set of strategies (not necessarily content-specific)
- Ongoing individual reflection
There are two guides, one domain-general and one specific to mathematics. Each guide describes the purposes of the guide (as above) and how it might be used – both for planning lessons and for reflection on them. The body of each guide focuses on reflective questions.