What is an “iGroup”?
An iGroup, an “individual inquiry group”, is a small team of colleagues (usually, 5-8 participants including a trained facilitator), who are committed to interrupt and improve inequitable experiences and outcomes for the students they serve by examining and transforming their own practice. This work is done in community in order to foster public and transparent accountability. At its simplest, many view an iGroup as a support group for those engaged in similar work – with an explicit focus on transformation and equity.
- consistently meet for a minimum of 2 contiguous hours each month (many groups meet 3-4 hours);
- engage in individual identity work as it relates to cultural bias and/or proficiency;
- learn and use promising practices (processes, protocols, rituals & structures) to effectively meet and engage in ongoing & ever-evolving equity-centered discourse about the work of organizations, leaders and practitioners as well as the experiences & results of the students they serve;
- anchor this equity-centered discourse in the examination data in the form of texts, dilemmas and work for the purpose of improving practice and results, and
- regularly and publicly reflect and self assess progress towards individual, transformation and improvement goals.
What is SF-CESS’ Equity-Based iGroup Facilitator Training?
While this training is specifically geared to prepare participants to facilitate an iGroup (individual inquiry group) of peers, it also serves as an excellent training for anyone seeking to lead and facilitate professional learning spaces committed to equity.
Guided by framework for individual and institutional transformation, SF-CESS’ first Equity-Based iGroup Facilitator Trainings were offered when in 2005. Now in its 10th year, SF-CESS has trained over 500 iGroup Facilitators throughout the country to use tools and hold space for the discourse about race and equity that those we serve – especially those least reached in our society – need us to have. SF-CESS’ Equity-Based iGroup Facilitator Training prepares individuals either to serve as a facilitator or to be a much more prepared participant in an iGroup. The week provides an accelerated experience that models the scope and sequence of a first year iGroup. Not only do participants learn about and practice the tools needed to facilitate an iGroup, but also they debrief the actual pedagogical moves of the facilitator team as another layer of the instructional experience.
Designed to mirror an accelerated first year of an actual iGroup, SF-CESS’ Equity-Based iGroup Facilitator Training is guided by the following EQ and goals:
“What do we need to know, do and be in order to create and foster equity-centered professional learning communities to build alliances across differences and to transform individual practice?”
Seminar Goals: We will, individually and collectively,
1. Commit to interrupt, transition and transform inequities in context – personal and professional.
2. Deepen our content knowledge; develop a toolbox (i.e. protocols and structures) to use as vehicles for rigorous work, and hone our skills and strategies to “hold space” for individualized, equity-centered learning in our collaborations and classrooms.
3. Experience and develop an awareness of our reaction, release, reflection and re-action to who and how we – in the skin we are in – exist in our work in relation to the reproduction of oppression and privilege in education.
4. Begin to develop alliances across difference and recognize this act as a critical component of Leading and Teaching for Equity.