Facilitating group conversations

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Facilitating Group Conversations Among Educators - presentation for the leadership focus of the Michigan Mathematics and Science Teacher Leadership Collaborative

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  • Facilitating group conversations

    1. 1. Facilitating Professional Conversations Michigan Mathematics and Science Teacher Leadership Collaborative
    2. 2. Defining Professional Conversations PROFESSIONAL CONVERSATION IS… • Conversation that centers on common purpose and significant issues such as science / mathematics teaching and learning • Conversation that makes a difference to adult AND student learning • Conversation guided by a skillful Leader as Group Facilitator
    3. 3. Defining Professional Conversations PROFESSIONAL CONVERSATION IS… • Conversation about what is worthwhile.... • improving or changing • learning and developing needed skills • exploring and examining • constructing and reflecting • revising, refining, expanding, or eliminating • solving, choosing, or deciding • discussing and analyzing student data • planning for the success of each student as a learner • An effective form of professional development as part of collaborative meetings
    4. 4. What Skills are needed by the Leader as Group Facilitator? • Planning the structure for the conversation • Framing the purpose with questions that engage participants • Creating a safe-to-risk climate • Respecting all perspectives • Reserving judgment • Listening • Using wait time effectively • Managing human and situational needs
    5. 5. What are the General Purposes for Professional Conversations? - Michigan Mathematics and Science Teacher Leadership Collaborative - • Action planning • Assessment of and for learning • Brainstorming • Celebration • Clarification • Curriculum development • Data analysis • Decision making • Exploration of significant ideas • Goal setting • Instructional improvement • Launching new initiatives • Problem-solving • Professional growth • Program implementation • Progress check • Reflection • Setting priorities
    6. 6. The Power of Norms in Conversations • Necessary attention is given to respect and human dignity • Agreements and expectations are in place for interacting and working together • A safe environment for learning and risk-taking is established and sustained • Concrete standards exist to define behavior • There are guidelines for self-management and group management • Personal resourcefulness, responsibility, and accountability are supported Norms have the power to impact group dynamics because they represent the internal beliefs and values we hold for the way we wish to be treated. When a group holds norms for itself, the following results occur:
    7. 7. How do Norms Compare with Rules? RULES NORMS Imposed on group Developed and agreed upon by group Authoritarian Democratic Made to be broken Group boundaries of courtesy Outside control Manners
    8. 8. Setting Norms • Keep Norms Positive When setting the stage for conversations, select norms that will have the most positive influence with group members. • Revisit Norms After the first conversation, you may need to revisit the norms, adjust norms to support productive interaction, or involve the group in creating their own norms.
    9. 9. Setting Norms - Michigan Mathematics and Science Teacher Leadership Collaborative - • Suggested Norms • Be respectful of one another • Challenge ideas, not people • Communicate with yourself and others in mind • Consider the perspectives of others • Contribute to the work of the group • Encourage all voices to speak and be heard • Encourage the exchange of ideas • Follow the agenda • Follow group norms • Honor time commitments • Invite and accept diversity • Keep the focus of teaching and learning • Listen to understand • Participate and contribute fully • Set aside judgment • Share talk time equally • Take care of yourself and others • Use actions and words that show you value everyone equally • Use words and actions that are respectful • Keep side conversations to a minimum • Use technology only as appropriate to group activity
    10. 10. Setting Norms • Norm Setting Activity 1. Review suggested norms. 2. Add any norms you would like considered using sentence strips. 3. Vote using dots (everyone gets to vote individually). 4. Record norms with top votes.
    11. 11. Managing Conversations Three articles: • “Group work has its dangers, but facilitators have some helpful strategies.” • “Intervention methods keep the group on track.” • “Skillful paraphrasing allows groups to examine what is being said.”
    12. 12. Managing Conversations TASK: • Form “trios” at your table • Each person in the trio will o read one of the articles silently o note/highlight information on strategies to share with the group members • Within your group, allow each member to share insights from the reading • Create group list of “facilitation moves” described in the articles
    13. 13. Planning for a Group Conversation FACILITATOR'S PLAN FOR A CONVERSATION... 1. Who is in your GROUP? Are there any GROUPING CONSIDERATIONS? 2. What NORM(S) will best create safety and cultivate the group climate? 3. What is the TOPIC?
    14. 14. Planning for a Group Conversation 4. What can we LEARN FROM EACH OTHER during the sessions? 5. What TEACHING/LEARNING QUESTION(S) will be addressed? 6. What OUTCOME(S) need to be met?
    15. 15. Planning for a Group Conversation 7. What TYPE of conversation structure best supports the outcome(s)? • Action planning • Assessment • Brainstorming • Clarification • Data analysis • Exploratory • Problem-solving • Professional growth • Program implementation • Progress check • Reflection • Other
    16. 16. Planning for a Group Conversation 8. How much TIME will be given to this conversation? 9. What LOGISTICS & SUPPLIES best support the conversation? • Refreshments? • Table and chair arrangements • Equipment needed • Handouts, transparencies 10. What ACTION(S) will be taken as a result of this conversation? 11. What is the CLOSING for the conversation?

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