Whole-Faculty Study Groups
Whole-faculty study groups involve all the school's certified faculty, notes
Murphy (1997). Faculty members--including administrators, teachers, counselors,
and other certified personnel--meet in groups of four to six members for one
hour each week to discuss ways to improve student learning. Finding the time
to meet requires a consensus on the part of the faculty that students will benefit
from the faculty's group discussion focusing on curriculum and instruction.
How to find the time to implement this strategy for improving teaching skills
and encouraging learning may be a problem. Murphy (1997) notes that schools
have come up with the following creative ideas for finding time:
- Using teaching assistants to release teachers for study group meetings.
- Beginning classes 30 minutes later one day a week and having teachers come
in 30 minutes earlier to provide one hour of study-group time.
- Scheduling students for special classes (such as art, music, and physical
education) at the same time to allow their home-room teachers to meet.
- Combining classes during the week so teachers cover for each other; one
teacher could cover two classes for an hour while the other teacher has time
for the study group.
- Using designated professional development time for study groups. For example,
if two days of professional development are scheduled for the year, teachers
instead can meet after school in one-hour study groups once a week for several
weeks and not report to school on professional development days.
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