Professional Development Schools and Critical Friends Groups: Supporting Student, Novice and Teacher Learning
Recently developed Professional Development School standards underscore the importance of professional learning community, inquiry, shared decision-making and a focus on student learning. These standards closely mirror the goals of Critical Friends Groups, a significant movement in education to improve student achievement through teacher collaboration and inquiry. This paper examines the experiences of a teacher candidate, mentor teacher, and university teacher educator when school and university partners at an elementary Professional Development School implemented Critical Friends Groups. Critical Friends Groups helped novices, experienced teachers, and teacher educators to examine teacher and student work by engaging in inquiry-oriented, practice-based, self-disclosing professional conversation.
Norman, P.J., Golian, K., & Hooker, H. (2005). Professional development schools and critical friends groups: supporting student, novice and teacher learning. The New Educator, 1(4), 273-286. doi:10.1080/15476880500276793
The New Educator