Designing Teacher Study Groups: A Guide for Success

Apr 30, 2020 in Book Review

Book Review Sample

The book selected for the review is titled Designing Teacher Study Groups: A Guide for Success written by Emily Cayuso, Carrie Fegan, and Darlene McAllister. It touches upon the essence of the study groups, which plays a major role in shaping the educational process. The authors worked hard to develop a piece of information, which can be helpful for teachers and students willing to learn more about various techniques in studying. Each chapter complements the following one and reveals the core characteristics of study groups. The following discussion includes the review of each chapter, which aims to represent the book’s leading idea. 

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First, it is necessary to mention that the information reflected in the book was collected by authors through researching the concept of the study group. The writers explored the informational background of the phenomenon of the study group, interdependence of participants, the effect of leadership, and overall effectiveness of studying. In fact, the authors successfully gathered information based on their personal experience, which makes the results reliable for further consideration. Second, it is possible to outline some implications of the book on classroom management. It is obvious that Designing Teacher Study Groups: A Guide for Success has a direct influence on further development of children by means of the formulation of study groups. Teachers can start practicing study groups in the process of teaching children oftener and help them to understand the essence of the topic by means of discussion in a team. In addition, children will be capable of enhancing their team spirit and responsibilities in the process of working on the same project with their classmates. The following passages reflect the book’s content and explain in what way the contemporary classrooms can benefit from study groups. 

The first chapter of the book is an essential part of the topic introduction. The authors successfully start from the explanation of different types of study groups including topic study group, practice group, and online study group. They make it clear that it is possible to find appropriate educational options depending on the needs of the one willing to study. In addition, regardless of age, occupation, and lifestyle, it is possible to consider attending study groups without any doubts. The authors start their writing style from informal communication with the reader, which makes the book easy to understand. In particular, the writers explain the differences between the topic study group and other groups by pointing at the topic, which unites people. In general, the first chapter is the core of the book, which helps to understand the course of the development of the next sections and their connection to each other. 

The second chapter continues to talk about study groups from the different perspective. It discusses the reasons of the popularity of the method. First, the chapter explains that study groups make students responsible for their cognitive development. In particular, the section mentions that teachers need to learn, too. It means that study groups help teachers to understand mistakes in their instructions and evaluate the effectiveness of their methods of teaching. In general, the chapter discusses the role of study groups in shaping appropriate educational process. Rapport, collaboration, cooperation, and friendship are the main peculiarities and benefits of study groups, which unite people in order to focus on the same goal. 

The third chapter discusses the points, which can become an appropriate start of the educational process in a group. First, the authors suggest the selection of the goal, which can set the tone of the group’s performance. It is supposed to be the core of the groups’ activity. In addition, the authors suggest the consideration of the groups’ participants in order to create a sustainable environment for studying. In general, the chapter argues that it is necessary to have a balanced educational environment full of resources and time for rest. 

The fourth chapter becomes a significant part of the guide towards the development of a study group. It is a systematic plan of actions for the creation of the group, selection of the materials to study, determining the idea of perfect leadership, social contract, size of the group, and schedule of the group’s meetings. At this point, the book offers the reader to have a complex understanding of the development of the study groups. It successfully depicts the main aspects of the construction of groups according to the goals of the educational process and participants’ needs. This chapter becomes an effective linking element to the following sections.

The fifth chapter teaches the reader how to respect the leader, understand his/her value, and follow the common principles of the educational process. It reflects the need for the development of appropriate rules, principles, and values of the collaboration inside of the group. In addition, the chapter suggests using journaling in order to record the studying and avoid missing the checkpoints in the educational process. In this way, recording can help to prioritize tasks and assist students to learn everything they focused on from the beginning of the studying. In general, the chapter calls the reader to practice and use the theory described in the study. It also has a logical transition to another portion of information, which discusses the role of goals and tasks in the performance of a study group.  

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The sixth chapter explains how to organize the activity after the study group completes its goals. The authors decided to emphasize the possible questions of the readers and answer them in a single section. The writers mention that studying is a continuous process, which means that it is always possible to select a new goal and do everything to reach it. In fact, the authors suggest that there is nothing preventing from the creation of another study group. From this point of view, they explain how to develop a TIP group, share the knowledge and teach how to absorb new information, and use studying as a continuous process of the informational exchange. 

The seventh chapter goes on to unveil a short and quick guide towards getting prepared to the first meeting of the group. The section explains the role of the facilitator and the participants in the development of the effective studying. By the end of the chapter, the writers offer the reader several topics for the study groups, which can help in the expansion of the ideas regarding studying. The eighth chapter offers the readers to reflect on the suggestions of the authors regarding study group mechanisms. 

Finally, it is possible to connect the material from the book in a coherent way. The authors successfully provided a complex overview of the development of study groups and their advantages. In fact, every chapter represents a piece of information concerning the overall idea of study groups’ effectiveness in terms of the contemporary development of the humanity. In particular, the book has a significant influence on the selection of the educational methods for students. It became clear that a systematic approach towards the development of study groups, their management, and optimization can help to solve many educational problems. 

In general, the book is an appropriate guide towards the development of study groups and nourishment of mind with new knowledge. The authors proved that there is a myriad of study groups, which focus on the diversity of topics. It helps to choose the appropriate type of the study group and continue the educational process without any worries. In fact, the book review proved that the authors organized information in a proper way in order to improve the readers’ understanding of the topic. Moreover, the writers managed to provide the audience with effective tools, techniques, and guides towards determination of goals and aspirations in the development of various study groups.

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