PSG_people.pngDefinition: Professional Study Groups offer the opportunity for colleagues to identify an area of focus and/or address a variety of topics to be critically analyzed. This option involves groups meeting regularly and conducting professional conversations through use of various protocols or other clinical methods. To participate in this option, a collaborative group of 3-6 eligible teachers would be necessary. Teachers could be from a common grade level, department, or be interdisciplinary and from multiple grade levels. Learn More.

To allow teachers the opportunity to collaborate with colleagues to improve individual practice. Visit the Professional Study Group blog to read the insights of your peers.

Professional Role/Responsibility:
  • Groups identify an area of focus and form study group. Topics or area of focus will relate to student achievement and district and/or building goals for the academic year.
  • Groups submit proposal to appropriate administrator.
  • Groups meet regularly (minimum of one time per marking period) to share findings and discuss focus area.
  • Each group member is responsible for facilitating or co-facilitating one session using a predetermined protocol and area of focus.
  • Group keep minutes for each session to be submitted with their final report and shared at the follow-up administrative meeting at the conclusion of the school year. (Click here to learn about using a group blog to keep notes and minutes.)
  • At the conclusion of the academic year, the group meets with their assigned administrator to share their experience and discuss the study group process, and reflect on the process.

Administrative Role/Responsibility
  • Review initial proposals and offer feedback to group.
  • Provide direction, resources and/or support, as requested.
  • Meet with group at the conclusion of the academic year to discuss the experience and the impact on practice and student achievement.

Examples/Focus Area/Goal Suggestions
  • Student Work Analysis - Group focus is on studying specific samples of student work (writing pieces, assessments, projects, etc.). Each session, a different facilitator is responsible for bringing a sample of student work, and leading a professional conversation on what the sample says about their instruction, student learning, and is offered feedback from other group members. (Read about Looking at Student Work - LASW - here.)
  • Lesson Study - Similar to the Student Work Analysis, facilitators share a lesson plan they have implemented, and group will conduct a professional conversation on their plan, it's impact on student achievement, and feedback on how to enhance the lesson in future practice.
  • Book Study - At the beginning of the year, the group chooses a book relating to professional practice and/or a current educational trend and/or research to read and discuss. Throughout the year, meeting sessions are focused on specific chapters or parts of the book and the implications on practice and/or student achievement. Individuals in the group take turns facilitating these professional conversations. (Click here to access ASCD ebooks for professional study group selections.)
  • Article Study - Individual group members alternate being responsible for finding an article for each meeting session from a professional journal on a topic relating to a current educational trend, research, initiative, or practice which impacts student achievement. Articles are provided prior to each meeting session, and the facilitator will lead group discussion using a pre-determined protocol focusing on the implications of the topic on instruction and student achievement. (Click here to access print and online articles for professional group study.)

  • Protocols & Roles
  • Session agenda and minutes (format determined by group) (Click here to learn about using a group blog to keep notes and minutes.)

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