Rich classroom talk is foundational to student learning and participation in academic activity (Resnick et al., 2015). Teachers across a variety of settings, however, need concerted assistance to realize and sustain rich talk (Jensen et al., 2021; Park et al., 2017; Yamauchi et al., 2013).
Instructional Conversations for Equitable Participation (ICEP) are small group discussions between teachers and students that include all students, their cultures, everyday experiences, and everyday languages (Jensen et al., 2018; Tharp et al., 2000). Everyday experiences include routines, interests, relationships, perspectives, expertise, values, and traditions. Everyday languages are the languages and ways of interacting that students use at home and in their communities, for example, “Pidgin” and overlapping speech.
ICEPs combine features of instruction and conversation to elicit student background knowledge, complex expression and bases for positions (e.g., Matsumura & Garnier, 2015; Portés et al., 2018). The aim of ICEPs is meaningful student participation in the social practices of all subjects (Lee et al., 2013). ICEPs disrupt power dynamics in curriculum (Kibler et al., 2021) and instruction (Chapman de Sousa, 2017) to enable equitable participation for every learner.
ICEPs have positive effects on student development (Clare et al. 1996; Portés et al., 2018; Saunders & Goldenberg, 2007), however implementation can be difficult for teachers to realize and sustain (Chapman de Sousa, 2017; Goh et al., 2012; Saunders et al., 1992). Materials in this packet provide practical concepts, terms, and guidance to help teachers learn together to enact ICEPs by making them visible. Using the suggested protocols, teachers will be able to plan and prepare for ICEPs, implement and examine them, and reflect and revise to improve.
After providing a brief overview of ICEPs, we review principles of teacher learning in teams to enact ambitious teaching practices; we frame ICEP materials in terms of these principles. We discuss the ways peer observation enables collaborative, close-to-practice teacher learning to realize and sustain equitable classroom talk, and provide guidelines for using ICEP materials within plan-do-analyze-revise (PDAR) cycles.