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Whole-Faculty Study Groups™ National Centers
Carlene Murphy, Executive Director
4450 Old Waynesboro Rd.
Augusta, GA 30815
706-592-6251 (phone & fax)
Karl Clauset, Director
4579 El Dorado Way, #206
Bellingham, WA 98226
360-676-8001 (phone & fax)

WFSG Definition

Whole-Faculty Study Groups (WFSGs) is a student driven approach to professional development. It is a job-embedded, professional development system designed to build a community in which professionals continuously strive to increase student learning. This is accomplished as practitioners deepen their own knowledge and understanding of what is taught, reflect on their practices, sharpen their skills, and take joint responsibility for the students they teach. 'Whole-Faculty' means that every faculty member at a school is a member of a study group focusing on data-based student instructional needs. In such a context, a study group is a small number of individuals joining together to increase their capacities to enable students to reach higher levels of performance. The collective synergy of all the study groups advance the whole school.

Carlene Murphy
Author, Whole Faculty Study Groups:
Creating Student-Based Professional Development


Getting Started...

  1. Someone within or external to the school provides information to a faculty.

  2. During the dissemination of information, it is important that key advocates emerge.

  3. When all faculty have general knowledge of the WFSG process and it is
    the consensus of leaders that the WFSG system will provide the structure for
    addressing the School Improvement Plan and for targeting specific
    instructional needs of students, it is time to learn how to implement the
    system.  Once the decision is made to begin, every certificated individual
    on the faculty is expected to be a member of a study group.  The degree to
    which teaching assistants are included is to be determined.

  4. The principal or a district leader contacts the WFSG National Center.

  5. Upon consultation with Carlene Murphy or one of her associates, it will be determined if a team from the school will attend a WFSG Institute in Augusta, GA or if a WFSG Consultant will do on-site training.

  6. At a two and a half day WFSG Institute in Augusta, GA, teams from schools are instructed in the processes and procedures of WFSG, with emphasis on how to get study groups 'up and running'. One member of a school team should be the principal or the assistant principal for instruction.

  7. If on-site training is advisable, a WFSG Consultant would conduct a one day WFSG Institute with one whole faculty or a two and a half day WFSG Institute with teams from several schools within the same district or region.

  8. Schools have the option of contracting with individual WFSG Consultants for follow-up technical assistance.

Proven Practice...

WFSG is a Proven Practice. Carlene Murphy's research spans sixteen years of working with schools implementing WFSG. She has had direct contact with more than 300 schools that have implemented the approach, totaling at least 4000 study groups.

WFSG procedures and processes have been standardized to the degree that the benefits of what has been learned during these sixteen years can be replicated in any school. Replication is possible because the work has been done in high schools, middle schools, and elementary schools; schools in large urban cities, such as Detroit, Seattle, San Diego, and New York City; schools in rural communities, such as south Georgia, up-state New York, and central Kansas; schools in suburban areas, such as those near Atlanta, Seattle, and Miami; schools with as many as 3000 students and 250 faculty members with 47 study groups; schools with as few as 300 students and 10 faculty members with two study groups; schools with a student population that is 100% African-American; schools that are 100% Caucasian; schools that are 90% Spanish; schools that have dozens of languages spoken. The WFSG process and its refinement are constantly evolving.

Murphy has used what has worked for one study group to help another and as new ideas accumulate made adjustments to the procedures. Because the procedures have evolved from how teachers actually work together in schools, the process is fluid, flowing, and readjusting itself. Adjustments are communicated through a loosely coupled network of users of the WFSG design. Please see the Brochures & Literature page for a list of publications that chronicles Murphy's work. You may also visit the Endorsements page to read comments about WFSG from the mouths of educators.