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Whole Faculty Group Study. An Overview of WFGS Feb 5-12, 2006 Dr. Eric Jakubowski. Mediocrity is so easily achievable, there’s no need for planning at all!. Roger Kaufman, 1998. Topics. Paradigms of Change Importance of Collaboration

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Whole faculty group study

Whole Faculty Group Study

An Overview of WFGS

Feb 5-12, 2006

Dr. Eric Jakubowski

Roger Kaufman, 1998

Topics planning at all!

  • Paradigms of Change

  • Importance of Collaboration

  • Professional Learning Communities (PLC) Overview of WFSG

    • What it is and is not

  • Steps in WFSG

    • Nuts and Bolts

  • Does it work?

  • What it takes 2 make it work?

Traditional teaching paradigm
Traditional Teaching Paradigm planning at all!






Collaborative paradigm
Collaborative Paradigm planning at all!






Network paradigm
Network Paradigm planning at all!










Other WWW Sources

Which is the best paradigm
Which is the Best Paradigm planning at all!

  • It depends:

    school culture

    what is being taught in the paradigm

    outcomes of what education is about

Paradigm thoughts
Paradigm Thoughts . . . planning at all!








Traditional change paradigm
Traditional Change Paradigm planning at all!





  • Means Change In

Rethinking change paradigm
Rethinking Change Paradigm planning at all!



School improvement is never quick and easy

Even the grandest design eventually degenerates into hard work.

Richard DuFour

Resistance planning at all!

  • Change is difficult because:

    • takes us out of tradition, stability

    • challenges our beliefs and assumptions

    • may show our vulnerabilities

    • learning curve

  • However, change is inevitable

  • We can choose to be the master of change or its constant victim

Carlene Murphy planning at all!

Meaningful change requires collaborative processes that are different from most we have attempted in the past.

Need for a collaborative culture
Need for a Collaborative Culture planning at all!

Improving schools require collaborative cultures. . . Without collaborative skills and relationships, it is not possible to learn and to continue to learn as much as you need to know to improve.

  • Michael Fullan

What educational researchers say
What Educational planning at all! Researchers Say …

“Throughout our ten-year study, whenever we found an effective school or an effective department within a school, without exception, that school or department has been a part of a collaborative professional learning community.”

Milbrey McLaughlin,

Stanford University

Personal learning community
Personal Learning Community planning at all!

A Professional Learning Community has:

  • shared mission, vision, and values

  • collective inquiry

  • collaborative teams

  • action orientation and experimentation

  • continuous improvement

  • results orientations

The wfsg system is
The WFSG System is …. planning at all!

  • A structure for implementing a School Improvement Plan

  • A vehicle for doing what teachers already have to do, i.e., design lessons for implementing new reading program

  • A place to work ‘on the work’ with colleagues instead of working alone

What is wfsg
What is WFSG? planning at all!

  • Organizing teachers into small groups or study groups is not a new idea

  • Organizing the ENTIRE school faculty into study groups based on student need to bring about school wide improvement is a new idea in many districts

Attributes of wfsg
Attributes of WFSG planning at all!

  • Research Based

  • Addresses student needs

  • Student needs are based on data

  • Respects, validates and uses teachers as professionals who have the capacity to “do the work”

  • Structured to provide accountability for implementation

  • Aligns with and supports SIP and the PLC model

  • Aligns with NSDC standards

What wgfs is not
What WGFS is Not planning at all!

  • A quick fix solution

  • A technique or one-time workshop

  • Committee work

  • Another thing that we have to do

  • Busy work

  • Just another educational flash in the pan

We re off to see the wizard
We’re off to see the Wizard? planning at all!

If we do what we have always done, we will get what we have always gotten.

The Wizard of Oz

Points to ponder
Points to Ponder planning at all!

Think about your PD plan or model.

  • Are we learning what students need us to learn? How do we know?

  • Are students learning and achieving as a result of what we are learning and doing in our current professional development model? How do we know?

The logic of wfsg
The Logic of WFSG planning at all!

  • If schools are to improve, they must develop a collaborative culture

  • If schools are to develop a collaborative culture, they must overcome a tradition of teacher isolation

  • If schools are to overcome their tradition of teacher isolation, teachers must learn to work in effective, high performing teams

  • WFSG helps teachers learn to work in effective, high performing teams

A proven practice
A Proven Practice planning at all!

  • The WFSG process began in 1986 as a strategy for providing pressure and support to teachers for implementing several models of teaching in Augusta, GA.

  • It has evolved into a nationally recognized, proven in practice professional development system.

Wfsg are working in
WFSG Are Working In …. planning at all!

  • High schools with as many as 3000 students

  • Middle schools with different teaming patterns

  • Elementary schools of all sizes

  • Schools in large, urban cities

  • Schools in suburban and rural communities

  • Schools representing all demographics

  • Charter schools, boarding schools

  • Schools implementing different national comprehensive school reform designs

Why use it
Why Use it? planning at all!

  • Has the greatest chance of changing the tradition and culture

  • Focuses site and individual PD on school improvement related to student performance

  • Provides a vehicle for proactively managing change, now and in the future!

Why use it1
Why Use It? planning at all!

  • Change becomes manageable as collaborative teams become units of change

  • Can be accomplished with a limited budget

  • Avoids allowing resisters to stop necessary change

  • This process is NOT perfect, but it provides a proven method for real results!

Nuts bolts of wfsg
Nuts & Bolts of WFSG planning at all!

  • Student “needs” are used as “topics” for study groups

  • Needs are generated by data (state, school)

  • Study groups are organized with 3-5 people per group

  • Needs are placed on sheets and narrowed down into clusters

  • group members select a study group topic

Nuts and bolts
Nuts and Bolts planning at all!

  • Each groups develops norms and a meeting schedule

  • Each group develops an action plan

  • Each group meets 2X per month, logs meetings, determines if action plan is working-makes adjustments

  • Results are shared

  • Progress is measured by student work and student data

To be successful
To Be Successful planning at all!

  • TIME

    • Recommendation: A minimum of 1 hour every other week


    • Essential question and each group’s action plan

  • An understanding of “HOW TO COLLABORATE”

    • Group norms, guidelines for meeting, and use of protocols

  • ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY for working collaboratively

    • Agreement to begin and develop own action plans


    • Groups must have timely feedback on their action plans

I don t have time
I don’t have time . . . planning at all!

  • Must honor faculty meeting time weekly or monthly

  • Reorganize current PD contract time

  • Use collaborative planning time-- “trade out” contract time?


What will guide the work
What Will Guide the Work? planning at all!

  • Critical questions

    • What do students need for us to do?

    • What are students learning and achieving as a result of what we are learning and doing in study groups?

Wfsg roles responsibilities
WFSG planning at all!Roles & Responsibilities

  • District Level Support

  • Focus Team

  • Principal

  • Study Group Leader

  • Individual Study Group Member

  • Instructional Council

Roles and responsibilities
Roles and Responsibilities planning at all!

  • District Level Support

    • Collects and distributes relevant info to principals

    • Helps identify and makes available resources

    • Provides expertise to the study groups, as needed

    • Supports need for time for study groups to meet

    • Communicates with district level staff what groups are studying

Roles and responsibilities1
Roles and Responsibilities planning at all!

  • Principal

    - Establishes the expectation.

    - Is an active participant in the training and planning sessions.

    - Receives action plans and responds to them.

    - Receives the study group logs and responds to them.

Roles and responsibilities2
Roles and Responsibilities planning at all!

  • Focus Team

    • Composed of the principal and a representative group of teachers

    • Attends training on how to begin WFSG

    • Leads the whole faculty through the WFSG orientation

    • Leads the whole faculty through the Decision-Making-Cycle, resulting in the establishment of what study groups will do.

    • Is represented on the Instructional Council.

Roles and responsibilities3
Roles and Responsibilities planning at all!

  • The Study Group Leader

    • Rotates every meeting so that leadership is a shared responsibility among all study group members

    • Confirms logistics of meetings with study group members

    • Starts & ends meeting on time

    • Reminds members that stray from the focus of the meeting to refocus

    • Sees that the study group log is completed and that the members and the principal receive a copy

Roles and Responsibilities planning at all!

  • Individual Study Group Members

    • Respect norms established by the study group.

    • Take turns serving as leader, recognizing that leadership is a shared responsibility.

    • Participate in the development of the study group action plan and commits to its actions.

    • Take responsibility for his or her own learning and for seeking resources for the study group.

    • Take responsibility for regularly bringing student work to the study group meeting.

    • Bring back to the study group what he or she has done in the classroom as a result of the study group work.

Instructional council
Instructional Council planning at all!

  • The IC provides the network for communication and includes:

    • 1 representative from each SG

    • The principal

    • 2-3 Focus Team members

  • Meets 4-8 times per year

  • Information from the IC disseminated?

    • Minutes

    • Newsletters

    • Reps report/share at their next SG meetings.

Bottom line
Bottom Line planning at all!

  • >75% of your teacher don’t buy in, go fishing!

  • Must have principal endorsement, support, and do whatever it takes to make it work

  • Time commitments MUST BE HONORED

  • Content of SG work must be embedded into teacher practices (GIGO principle)