The Development and Evaluation of a Self-Study Process for Critical Friends Groups

Open Access
Ballock, Ellen E.
Graduate Program:
Curriculum and Instruction
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
June 12, 2007
Committee Members:
  • James F Nolan Jr., Committee Chair
  • Karen Treat Keifer Boyd, Committee Member
  • Bernard Joel Badiali, Committee Member
  • Iris M Striedieck, Committee Member
  • professional learning community
  • critical friends group
  • group development
  • professional development
  • self-study
  • goal-setting process
This study explores the development and evaluation of a reflective tool and process to support critical friends groups (CFGs) in a self-study. The developmental framework serves as a reflective tool for group analysis in seven different elements: Relationships, Roles and Responsibilities, Commitment, Meeting Focus, Group Learning Agenda, Level of Reflection, and Impact on Teaching and Learning. The self-study process is intended to help groups analyze their collaborative work, identify goals and concrete action plans for improvement, and develop a plan for monitoring their growth. This study includes two phases. The first phase involves consultation with a panel of experts to validate and revise the developmental framework. The second phase employs a multiple case study approach to evaluate the developmental framework and self-study process as actually used by three CFGs. Analysis of data from observations, document analysis, interviews, and questionnaires provided a basis for which to further revise both the developmental framework and the self-study process. The data also support the conclusion that the developmental framework and self-study process both have merit as tools for helping CFGs to reflect on their work and set a course for improvement.