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WholeFaculty Study Groups


Murphy, C. and Lick, D. (2001) Whole-Faculty Study Groups: Creating Student ... Power point in handout and on SPS Staff Development website. We will end on time ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: WholeFaculty Study Groups

Whole-Faculty Study Groups
  • As developed by Carlene Murphy
  • Murphy, C. and Lick, D. (2001) Whole-Faculty
    Study Groups Creating Student Based
    Professional Development. Corwin Press.
  • Beginners Workshop
  • Designed for Principals and Teachers Who Have NOT
    Implemented WFSGs
  • Dr. Marci Winston
  • Coordinator of Counseling
  • Springfield Public Schools
  • 417.864.3874
  • mwinston_at_spsmail.org

  • Take Care of Yourself
  • Please make and wear a nametag
  • Please sign in
  • Breaks
  • Power point in handout and on SPS Staff
    Development website
  • We will end on time

Our Goal
  • To understand the components of effective
    collaborative teams in a Professional Learning
  • To understand how the WFSG model can address our
    School Improvement Plans goals and objectives
  • To understand how you might present this model to
    your staff as a possible action step in your SIP
    and a professional development option

A Thought
  • This process is NOT perfect, but research tells
    us that it provides the best hope for real
    results in school improvement!

  • Name/role
  • A success at my school for the 2001-02 school
  • In reference to the Whole Faculty Study Group
    process, we have .

What is WFSG? (Whole Faculty Study Group)
  • Organizing teachers into small groups or study
    groups is not a new idea
  • Organizing the ENTIRE school faculty into study
    groups to bring about school wide improvement is
    a new idea in our district
  • Whole means ALL - all classroom, teachers, all
    resource teachers, all special teachers,
    librarian, counselor , and anyone else holding
    professional certification

Why Whole Faculty Study Groups ?
  • WFSGs allow teachers more personal flexibility in
    site PD schedule
  • WFSGs allow teachers to use the study group
    action plan as their own individual staff
    development plan
  • WFSGs can address most, if not all, or our SIP
    goals and objectives
  • WFSGs can allow for fewer staff meetings (if you
    donate some traditional staff meeting time for
    study groups)
  • WFSGs reduce teacher isolation
  • WFSGs allow teachers to substitute required
    workshop times
  • WFSGs encourage teachers to experiment. In
    groups, teachers try new materials, new
    techniques, new strategies, new technologies.
    Teachers reflect on what works and does not work.

WFSG A Model for Teacher Collaboration
  • Why do we need teacher collaboration?
  • Throughout our ten-year study, whenever we found
    an effective school or an effective department
    within a school, without exception, that school
    or department has been a part of a collaborative
    professional learning community
  • Milbrey McLaughlin

Need for a Collaborative Culture
  • Creating a collaborative culture is the single
    most important factor for successful school
    improvement initiatives and the first order of
    business for those seeking to enhance the
    effectiveness of their schools
  • Eastwood and Lewis

Need for a Collaborative Culture
  • If schools want to enhance their capacity to
    boost student learning, they should work on
    building a collaborative cultureWhen groups,
    rather than individuals, are seen as the main
    units for implementing curriculum, instruction,
    and assessment, they facilitate development of
    shared purposes for student learning and
    collective responsibility to achieve it.
  • Fred Newmann

Need for a Collaborative Culture
  • Improving schools require collaborative
    culturesWithout collaborative skills and
    relationships, it is not possible to learn and to
    continue to learn as much as you need to know to
  • Michael Fullan

Group IQ
  • There is such a thing as group IQ. While a group
    can be no smarter than the sum total of the
    knowledge and skills of its members, it can be
    much dumber (the group) if its internal
    workings dont allow people to share their
  • Sternberg

  • If schools are to improve, they must develop a
    collaborative culture
  • If schools are to develop a collaborative
    culture, they must overcome a tradition of
    teacher isolation
  • If schools are to overcome their tradition of
    teacher isolation, teachers must learn to work in
    effective, high performing teams
  • WFSGs help teachers learn to work in effective,
    high performing teams

Where Do We Begin ?
  • To be successful, groups need
  • TIME
  • Recommendation A minimum of 1 hour every other
  • SIP objectives and each groups action plan
  • An understanding of HOW TO COLLABORATE
  • Group norms, guidelines for meeting and use of
  • Agreement to begin and develop action plans

Brainstorm At Your Table
  • What ideas do you have for how your school could
    create time for study groups to meet 1 hour every
    other week?
  • What ideas do you have for helping your staff
    accept responsibility for working collaboratively

What Will Guide the Work ?
  • Questions
  • What do students need for US to do ?
  • What are students learning and achieving as a
    result of what teachers are learning and doing in
    study groups ?

Whole Faculty Study Group Principles
  • Students are first
  • Leadership is shared
  • Everyone participates
  • Responsibility is equal
  • The work is public
  • Murphys Whole-Faculty Study Groups

WFSGRoles Responsibilities
  • Principal
  • Focus Team
  • Study Group Leader
  • Individual Study Group Member
  • Instructional Council

Roles and Responsibilities in WFSGs cont
  • Principal
  • is the most important factor in the successful
    initiation, implementation, and continuation of
  • is an active participant in the training and
    planning sessions
  • receives action plans and responds to them
  • receives the study group logs and responds to
    them (see pg. 80-81for comments to study groups)
  • may assign some responsibilities to assistant
    principals for responding to logs
  • is a participant at all IC meetings

Roles and Responsibilities in WFSGs cont
  • Focus Team
  • composed of the principal and a representative
    group of teachers
  • attends local or regional training or reads
    materials on how to design and lead the whole
    faculty through a WFSG orientation
  • leads the whole faculty though the WFSG
  • leads the whole faculty through the
    decision-making cycle, resulting in the
    establishment of study groups and what they will
  • decides which 3 members will be standing
    members of and rotating facilitators for the IC
    for one school year

Roles and Responsibilities in WFSGs cont
  • The Study Group Leader
  • rotates every meeting so that leadership is a
    shared responsibility among all study group
  • confirms logistics of meetings with study group
    members (e.g., date, time, location, and
    resources needed)
  • checks log from last meeting to confirm what the
    focus of the meeting will be and if it is time to
    revisit the action plan and the group norms and
    takes appropriate action
  • starts ends meeting on time
  • reminds members that stray from the focus of the
    meeting to refocus
  • sees that the study group log is completed and
    that the members and the principal receive a copy

Roles and Responsibilities in WFSGs cont
  • Individual Study Group Members
  • respect norms established by the study group
  • take turns serving as leader, recognizing that
    leadership is a shared responsibility
  • take turns representing the study group at an IC
    meeting and bring back to the study group what he
    or she learned
  • participate in the development of the study group
    action plan and commits to its actions
  • take responsibility for his or her own learning
    and for seeking resources for the study group
  • take responsibility for regularly bringing
    student work to the study group meeting
  • bring back to the study group what he or she has
    done in the classroom as a result of the study
    group work

Roles and Responsibilities in WFSGs cont
  • Instructional Council
  • represent each study group (one representative
    per study group)
  • rotate membership, except for the principal and
    3 members of the focus team
  • meet once every 4-6 weeks (dates are on school
    calendar), with the first meeting held
    immediately after the study groups have met twice
  • review action plans
  • share what each study group is doing, including
    successes and challenges
  • plan celebrations and whole-faculty sharing times
  • is facilitated by one of the 3 members of the IC
    from the focus team

WFSG 15 Guidelines
  • Keep the size of the study group between
  • and six

2. Determine study group membership by who
wants to address an identified student need
(SIP goal/objective)
3. Establish and keep a regular schedule,
meeting every two weeks.
4. Establish group norms and routinely revisit
the norms.
5. Establish a pattern of study group
leadership, rotating among members.
6. Develop a Study Group Action Plan by the end
of the second study group meeting.
7. Complete a Study Group Log after each study
group meeting.
WFSG 15 Guidelines, cont.
  • 8. Have a curriculum and instructional focus that
    requires members to routinely examine student
    work and to observe students in classrooms
    engaged in instructional tasks.

9. Make a comprehensive list of learning
resources, both material and human.
10. Use multiple professional development
strategies, such strategies as
training, to accomplish the
study groups intended results.
WFSG 15 Guidelines cont.
  • 11. Reflect on the study groups work by keeping
    a private journal.
  • 12. Recognize all study group members as equals.
  • 13. Expect and plan for transitions.
  • 14. Assess the progress of the study group
    according to the Student Performance Goals
    specified on the Study Group Action Plan.
  • 15. Establish a variety of communication networks
    and strategies.
    Murphys Whole-Faculty Study Groups

Process Overview. . .
  • Highly structured meetingsexplicit expectations!
  • Common elements include
  • Focus on mission and student results
  • Action Plans drive the interaction
  • Logs required and posted for each meeting


Collect and analyze data.
  • Decision-Making Cycle

Whole faculty evaluates

impact of study groups on
State student needs

student learning

Each group implements

a cycle of
Categorize and
Adjusting plan

prioritize student
Taking action


Collecting data


Todays Focus

Organize groups around

Each group designs an action
same category or

plan that specifies the
different categories of

content (what and how) of
students needs.

the study.
Step 1 Analyze Data
  • Each table group in the large meeting room (all
    faculty) should have a set of data in a folder in
    the middle of the table (each table group has the
    same set of data)
  • MAP content item analysis from 2000-01 Math,
    Science, Social Studies, Comm. Arts
  • School Improvement Plan
  • Reminder Color code pieces of data

Step 2 State Student Needs
  • Write the specific student needs reflected in the
    data. Each person is to use the form DATA
    ANALYSIS Stating Specific Student Needs.
    Refer to page 11 12. Do individually using the
    data you were given.
  • Give each table a piece of chart paper and a
    marker. At the top of each piece of chart paper,
    write Students need to
  • Each group is to consolidate the individual lists
    onto the chart paper, making a list of all the
    student needs identified and listed by each
    member. Be sure to number each need and to start
    each need with a VERB (see page 12)
  • Tape all charts to a wall.
  • Take the chart with the greatest number of
    student needs. This becomes the master list of
    student needs. Ask each table to add student
    needs that are not listed on this master list.
  • Special note As soon as the master list is
    approved by everyone, quickly print a copy of
    this list for each person.

Step 3 Categorize the Student Needs
  • Distribute the master list of student needs
    that was developed in Step 2 to each faculty
  • Ask each person to categorize, or put into
    groups, the student needs on the list, giving
    each category a name and the s that form the
    category. WORK ALONE ! (see page 13)
  • Category Name of needs
  • Reading 2,4,5,8,11,20
  • Writing 2,5,7,16,20
  • Problem Solving 1,3,4,6,11
  • Remember a need may fit into more than one

Step 3 ContinuedCategorizing the Student Needs
  • Have individuals share their categories as the
    categories are written on chart paper.
  • Category Name of needs
  • Reading 2,4,5,8,11,20
  • Writing 2,5,7,16,20
  • Problem Solving 1,3,4,6,11
  • Remember a need may fit into more than one
  • Write as responses are given. Ask for another
    category. Write. Ask for another. Write.
    Keep doing this until you have several. Dont
    argue about any of the responses ! Take what
    they give you !

Step 4 Writing an Individual Action Plan and
Forming Groups
  • Part 1 Writing the Individual Action Plan
  • (pg. 14 15)
  • Ask each person to pull a blank action plan out
    of the notebook and complete the action plan as
    the leader directs the faculty through this
    activity, by saying
  • A. Select the category YOU want to address in a
    study group. Refer to categories formed in STEP
    3. Write it.
  • In the top, left quadrant, write 3 of the student
    needs you would want to address in a study group
    list of student needs.
  • Write an essential question that you want
    answered. REFER TO EXAMPLES on page 16.
  • In the top, right quadrant, write the actions you
    want to take when the study group meets to
    address needs (pg. 18, 19, 20)
  • In the bottom, left quadrant, write the resources
    or expert voices the study group will use. (pgs.
    21 22)
  • In the bottom, right quadrant, write the Student
    Performance Goals that the members will use to
    assess the groups progress (pg. 23 24)

Step 4 Writing an Individual Action Plan and
Forming Groups
  • Part 2 Forming Study Groups
  • The principal/leader describes the procedure for
    forming the study groups, such as
  • Everyone who chose Category ____stand up and go
    to Room____
  • Everyone who chose Category ____stand up and go
    to Room ____
  • And so on until all priority categories are
  • Remember No less than 3 and no more than 6 in
    any group. If ten teachers chose the same
    category, they need to form two (2) groups.
    Members of a group write their names on one piece
    of paper and give the paper to the principal.
    When the groups are formed, members share the
    individual plans that were written. This sharing
    will provide ideas that will go into the one
    action plan for that study group.

Checklist for the First Three (3) Study Group
  • At this point, groups are ready to begin their
    work !!!
  • Refer each group to pages 27-30.
  • First Meeting
  • Second Meeting
  • Third Meeting

Decision Making Cycle Step 5
Each group or team develops an action plan based
on the selected category The study group or team
action plan drives the meetings and helps
maintain the focus on the mission and student
The Study Group Plan Log
  • Where in the Action Plan and log do you see
    evidence of the following principles?
  • 1. Students are first
  • 2. Leadership is shared
  • 3. Everyone participates
  • 4. Responsibility is equal
  • 5. The work is public

Developmental Stages of Study Groups
  • Forming (eager, high expectations, anxiety, fear)
  • Storming (dissatisfaction, frustration, feel
  • Norming (harmony, trust, support, respect)
  • Performing (empowered, committed, motivated)

Keep asking
  • What do MY students need for ME to do?
  • What are MY students learning and achieving in MY
    classroom as a result of what I am learning and
    doing in MY study group?
  • Murphys Whole-Faculty Study Groups

Everyones Big Question
Q Will WFSGs increase student achievement?
A It depends on what teachers do.
It is what teachers do in the study groups and
in their classrooms that will increase student
What Teachers Do
Demonstrate lessons Practice
new teaching skills Design rubrics,
lessons, tools, etc. Examine student
Without intellectually rigorous work, the
process is boring and can be a waste of time.
How to Get Started
  • Present It
  • Sell It
  • Seek Agreement to Begin

What Will Guide the Work ?
  • Present It
  • What do students needs for us to do?
  • What are students learning and achieving as a
    result of what teachers are learning and doing in
    study groups?

WFSG Basic Steps
  • Present It
  • Student needs are used as topics for study
  • Staff members select a study group topic
  • Study groups are organized with 3-6 people per
  • Each groups develops norms and a meeting schedule
  • Each group develops an Action Plan
  • Each group meets 2x per month and logs meetings
  • Results are shared and POSTED
  • Progress is measured as part of SIP process

  • Sell IT
  • How much marketing will my staff need?
  • What selling points will have the greatest
    influence on my staff ?
  • Remember the levels of concern What does this
    mean for me ? For my students ?

Possible selling points
  • More personal flexibility in site PD schedule
  • More input and groups set their own meeting
  • More direct focus on what my students need
  • Can use the study group action plan as your
    individual staff development plan
  • WFSG can address most, if not all, of our SIP
    goals and objectives
  • Evidence of results for students
  • WFSGs encourage teachers to experiment. In
    groups, teachers try new materials, new
    techniques, new strategies, and new technologies.
    Teachers reflect together on what works and does
    not work.

Possible selling points continued
  • Fewer staff meetings (if you donate some
    traditional staff meeting time for study groups)
  • Provides contract time to work on required
    initiatives related to student performance
  • Reduces teacher isolation
  • Omits a one size fits all model for PD

  • Get Agreement to Begin
  • Recommendation 75 agree to begin
  • Do they need more information or processing time
  • How can we best address questions ?

Get Agreement to Begin
  • What are my options if 75 do not agree to
    begin this process as presented ?
  • Expect research-based recommendations for
    alternative professional development options for
    addressing identified student needs
  • Consider organizing a willing group to study
    the process more deeply and bring it back at a
    later date with answers to concerns, etc.

How will I know if 75 of our staff agree to
begin ?
  • Provide your staff with an overview of the WFSG
    process..feel free to use any of these slides
    for your presentation. This can be done in small
    groups during conference periods, or with the
    faculty as a whole.
  • Allow time for clarification and questions
  • Ask staff for fist to five or some other
    method for assessing the 75 ready to begin
  • Have materials ready to present the
    Decision-Making Cycle

How do we know what our study group topics will
be ?
  • Groups will be formed using the Decision-Making
  • Group topics will be based on student needs
    identified through data analysis

After faculty members are in groups, how do they
know what to do ?
  • The principal along with the focus team should do
    a 15 20 minute orientation.
  • Faculty members should sit at tables with their
    group for the orientation
  • Each faculty member should be given a WFSG
  • Notebook should include the following
  • School Improvement Plan
  • Enough BLANK Study Group Logs for the entire
    school year
  • Two or three BLANK Study Group Action Plans
  • Pages 10 30 (see example)

What comes after the WFSG orientation ?
  • Groups should meet for at least 30 minutes after
    the orientation to
  • choose a group leader for this first meeting
  • choose a group member to record the first
    meeting activities on the log
  • decide future meeting dates
  • decide on beginning and ending times for each
  • count the approximate number of hours the group
    will be meeting until the end of the school year
  • decide where the group will meet
  • decide on the schedule for the leadership
  • decide on the schedule for the rotation for
  • leader should make copies of the first meeting
    log for the group members, the group notebook,
    and the principal
  • principal should respond to and post all logs
    within a couple of days

  • Even the grandest design eventually degenerates
    into hard work
  • Richard DuFour

At your table
  • My feelings about the WFSG model
  • My next steps include
  • Sponge What questions do you have ?
  • Please dont forget to sign for your
  • Thank You !!

GOOD LUCK !!!Whole-Faculty Study Groups
  • As developed by Carlene Murphy
  • Murphy, C. and Lick, D. (2001) Whole-Faculty
    Study Groups Creating Student Based
    Professional Development. Corwin Press.
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