Reflective Practice

Teacher Study Groups

study groupArtful Thinking is both a classroom and a school-wide endeavor. As you and your colleagues seek to make thinking more visible in your classrooms through the use of thinking routines and documenting students’ thinking, you will find that there is much benefit in coming together to share and learn from one another. In such gatherings, it is often helpful to use a protocol—that is, a structure for conversation—to keep the group clearly focused.

The Study Group Protocol is a protocol for looking at student work with a focus on the thinking present in the work. Like most protocols for looking at student work, it is highly structured. For teachers not used to using protocols to guide conversation, this may appear to be a bit rigid and confining, not allowing for the natural flow of conversation they are used to having with colleagues. However, the structure ensures that the conversation stays focused on a particular goal—in this case thinking about the thinking present in students’ work. Over time, teachers get used to the structure and it feels more natural and facilitating of conversation rather than inhibiting.

For more information please see page 51 of The Artful Thinking Final Report.

An example of a completed Think Track is available here.