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Professional Book Study

One type of professional learning is a professional book study or book talk. A book study can be a powerful way for educators to drive their own learning. A book study is an effective form of professional learning because new learning can be immediately applied in the classroom. Teachers are involved in multiple sessions over time where there is continuous discussion around a relevant topic that has arisen from school data.

Download the UFT Teacher Center's guide to professional book study as a complete PDF »

Introduction: What is Professional Book Study?
Learn how professional book study can be used and tips for ensuring success.

Creating and Maintaining Professional Book Study
Learn about the process for creating and maintaining professional book study, including possible structures, participant roles and norms for successful discussion.

Planning Tools
Blank templates that can be used by participants during meetings, including a notetaking template for group discussions.


The group may choose one of several protocols to guide their discussion. The use of protocols ensures that all voices are heard. There is opportunity for open conversation, dialogue and reflection. Consider using one of the following protocols from the School Reform Initiative to guide your discussion.

Text Rendering Experience
In this activity, each participant shares a sentence, phrase and word from the text that she feels is paticularly significant.

The Final Word
In this activity, each participant highlights one significant idea from the text. Then, other participants respond to the first participant's understanding, giving everyone an opportunity to have their ideas, understandings, and perspective enhanced by hearing from others.

Wagon Wheels
In this activity, participants work "knee to knee" in pairs to brainstorm or answer guiding questions, jotting their reflections as they work.

Three Levels of Text
In this activity, participants respond to three levels of text: literal (Level 1), interpretations (Level 2) and implications (Level 3).