Annotated Bibliography of Resources for Educational Reform, Coherent Teaching Practice, and Improved Student Learning

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  • Birchak, B., Connor, C., Crawford, K. M., Kahn, L. H., Kaser, S., Turner, S., & Short, K. G. (1998). Teacher study groups: Building community through dialogue and reflection. Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English.

Teachers can come together to talk about teaching and learning in study groups. School-based study groups seem to provide the context for critical dialogue about professional issues of importance to teachers. A study group is not a staff meeting or inservice, but it is a place where learning takes place. The study group builds community and challenges teachers' thinking, and can be instrumental in helping teachers become better teachers. This book provides guidelines and examples for teachers and facilitators who want to establish a study group of their peers. It includes a chapter on organizing study groups that provides answers to questions about the types of meetings, resources, numbers of teachers, and so on. Another chapter discusses the facilitation of study groupsÑselection of a facilitator, what she does, and so onÑand provides guidelines for facilitators. The authors include transcripts from some of the conversations of a study group to give the reader a sense of what a study group sounds like. While having a teacher study groups seems like a good idea, there are issues that will likely be encountered. The authors discuss several of those and provide suggestions based on their experiences with study groups. In the last chapter, they look at the influence of the study group on the individual teachers and on larger school setting.

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