ERIC Number: EJ1090993
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Abstractor: As Provided
Teachers Talking about Teaching and School: Collaboration and Reflective Practice via Critical Friends Groups
Kuh, Lisa P.
Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, v22 n3 p293-314 2016
Reflective practice has potentially positive effects on an organization's capacity to focus on student learning and teaching practices. In an effort to comply with policy and provide teachers with opportunities to reflect on their practice, districts, schools, and teachers have turned to various models that feature collaborative experiences. One such model is the Critical Friends Group (CFG), focusing on the improvement of practice and learning experiences for children, using protocol-driven structured conversations. This article examines the mechanisms that support and sustain reflective practice within a community of practice and utilizes Wenger's three dimensions of practice--mutual engagement, joint enterprise, and shared repertoire. The study followed a CFG in an elementary school using ethnographic case study methods to conduct a close examination of CFG meetings, protocol use, and analysis of teacher interviews. The propensity to "look out" at school-wide issues vs. looking in at classroom practices, perceptions about feedback on classroom practice, and using protocols to guide conversation emerged from the data as prominent mechanisms in communities of practice. CFG facilitators and coaches, as well as participants must be explicit about the purposes of their work and protocol use alone does not ensure a focus on student learning and teaching practices.
Descriptors: Teacher Collaboration, Professional Development, Reflective Teaching, Teacher Effectiveness, Academic Achievement, Feedback (Response), Communities of Practice, Case Studies, Interviews, Elementary School Students, Observation, Questionnaires
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A