Welcome!

This wiki contains resources to support CFGs and other professional development focused on collegial, collaborative conversations.

For specific protocols, go to the School Reform Initiative's web site, where you can download adobe files of all of the protocols in the SRI Resource Book, plus others.

Each page contains a beginning bibliography for the topic, as well as additional resources.

Critical Friends Group Institute


Essential Question
How do I engage in and facilitate adult learning, dialogue and collaboration that result in higher levels of learning for all students, and especially, for those students who are struggling?


Sub-Questions
  • What is the role of risk-taking in adult learning?
  • How do adult collaboration, reflective discourse, and de-privatized practice support student learning?
  • What are the conversations that make a difference?

Working Hypotheses about Professional Learning Communities

  • Schools and school systems that continually challenge themselves to develop professional collaborative learning communities are better able to create conditions that support the learning of schools, leaders, teachers and especially students.
  • There are powerful forces that conspire against schools becoming reflective, collaborative professional communities that can steadfastly focus on issues of teaching and learning.
  • The most challenging work for any learning community is around issues of race and equity.
  • Schools that commit themselves to learning for the sake of all their students are able to overcome the barriers to professional community, and build the capacity for reflecting, collaborating and, most of all, focusing on the work of teaching and learning that benefits all students.

Goals for the Institute

During the CFG Institute, participants learn how professional learning communities in schools contribute to increased student learning. They work together during the institute to create a professional learning community, while learning the concepts, habits, tools, and skills that lead to more reflective practice. Participants then prepare to adapt and translate their institute experiences to work they will do in their own settings.

By the conclusion of the Institute, each participant will have:
- Reviewed the characteristics of professional learning communities and their significance in improving student learning

- Engaged in reflective dialogue about how issues of equity affect the way principals lead, teachers teach, and student learn
- Distinguished among the various protocols and considered how protocols help to create learning communities
- Reflected on how examining student’s work collaboratively can help teachers and administrators adapt their practice to meet the needs of all student
- Practiced giving and receiving feedback on professional dilemmas
- Engaged in reflective dialogue based on the reading of professional texts
- Developed a clear sense of the role of a CFG in creating and sustaining a professional learning community