This tool is intended to help develop an understanding of the Teaching for Robust Understanding (TRU) framework for Mathematics as a foundation for thinking about, planning, observing, and reflecting on classroom teaching.
This introduction can be used with a wide variety of groups, including: district personnel who are in a position to coach, observe, or otherwise support teacher professional development; principals who need to provide a supportive environment for staff learning; in-service teachers at the beginning of professional development; tutors and student teachers in the early stages of a teacher preparation course. It provides a compact introduction to the suite of materials on http://map.mathshell.org/trumath.php.
Reflecting the standards in high-performing countries, the Common Core and related state standards embody a broader and deeper view of mathematics than has been traditional in US schools. As well as emphasizing robust understanding of mathematical content, it includes the practices of doing mathematics. This requires a deeper way of thinking about what matters in classrooms.
Teaching for Robust Understanding in Mathematics (TRU) is a research-based framework for doing this. The five dimensions of TRU are: (i) the mathematics, (ii) cognitive demand, (iii) access to mathematical content, (iv) agency, ownership and identity and (v) formative assessment. If things go well in classrooms along these five dimensions, the students who emerge will be powerful thinkers and problem solvers.
The purpose of this workshop session is to introduce participants to the framework and to some of the tools that can be used with it. By the end of the workshop we hope they will see that:
- TRU is a way of thinking, not just a set of tools. It can be used by individuals and communities in an ongoing way for planning, observing, and reflection.
- Getting better across the dimensions of TRU leads to improved instruction.
- There are no “magic bullets.” Change takes time, and TRU can help to support ongoing improvement.
The approach taken in this workshop is aimed at having participants see TRU emerge from their own thoughts about and discussions of specific examples of teaching. It gives participants a chance to react to the three stimulus videos, so that the analysis that follows is seen as pulling together their own thoughts, not imposing something from ”the outside.”
- What matters in classrooms?
- Part 1: An introduction to TRU – 3 videos analyzed
- Part 2: Introducing TRU Tools
- Q & A
There are three videos embedded in the PowerPoint file. If you are unable to play these, you can watch them online here:
A lesson on finding angles
This is an extract taken from the TIMMS 1995 video study - see: http://www.timssvideo.com/videos/mathematics/United%20States
The Border Tiles Lesson
From Boaler and Humphreys (2005) Connecting Mathematical Ideas: Middle School Video Cases to Support Teaching and Learning