Critical Friends Group work originated with the NSRF in 1994. The key differences between CFG communities and other professional learning communities (PLCs) are (1) an intentional cultivation of safety and trust between the members, and (2) a focus on solving problems and accomplishing goals brought by its participants. These distinctions are key to the member educators helping each other improve their practices with honesty and integrity, resulting in a more positive school culture.
Groups are led by a certified CFG coach who is trained to use NSRF collaboration tools called “protocols” mindfully. These tools allow all CFG members’ voices to be heard and honored as they give non-judgmental, but open and honest, feedback to one another, resulting in accomplishing great things in short periods of time.
Worldwide, educators are experiencing how CFG work epitomizes the mindset of continuous growth and improvement, as their CFG communities create and solidify their belonging mindset, all of which translates into a productive system to improve student learning.