A study group is a collection of people who gather together to examine a topic they have agreed to study. Groups are often formed out of a recognized need or interest.
Professional educators often initiate study groups in recognition of the importance to constantly be learners themselves. Study groups afford participants a forum for learning together, planning together, testing ideas together, and reflecting together. The following are general characteristics of study groups:
- Participants in study groups construct knowledge through research, interaction with selected materials and collegial discourse.
- All participants acknowledge that each person brings expertise to the group and that everyone has a contribution to make. Study groups provide an avenue for renewal, an atmosphere of companionship and an opportunity for growth.
- Participants make a commitment to create new knowledge and to use this knowledge to positively affect perspectives, policies and practice.
ASCD, 1996 ASCD Professional Inquiry Kit
“At the deepest level it (dialogue) is about the development and transformative power of the collective mind.”
David Peat, Infinite Potential
What do you need to start your PLC? Watch how one school in Missouri created their PLC and walk through the process of reviewing student work. This section also offers models for PLCs, advice for facilitators, and tips for organizing your study groups.