Challenging assumptions

Build personal meaning and share understanding on one key concept from a text.

Duration – 26 minutes

Timing and description for 'Challenging assumptions' protocol
Timing Description


2 minutes

Designate a facilitator and timekeeper

Review the norms and purpose for this session.

13 minutes

Prior knowledge

Each person silently jots down thoughts about the meaning of the key concept by completing Column 1 of the T-chart below (or similar).


Everyone reads the designated short passage in the text on this concept.

As they finish reading, they may move any of their ideas from Column 1 to Column 2. They may also add to either column.

Partner discussion

5 minutes

Partners discuss the ideas on their T-chart.

As they discuss, they may move any ideas from Column 1 to Column 2. They may also add to either column.

Expand the discussion

10 minutes

Each pair then joins another partner group to discuss the ideas on their T-charts.


5 minutes

Together the 2 partner pairs create a group T-chart outlining the ideas the group has about what this concept is and is not.

If there are many small groups, they may share these group charts with the larger group.


2 minutes

Participants briefly comment on how the session supported their understanding and how the process might be improved.


Column 1 Column 2
I think... is... I think... is not...

Adapted from Glaude, C (2011) Protocols for Professional Learning Conversations. Cultivating the Art and Discipline. Bloomington: Solution Tree Press

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