Professional Learning

National School Reform Faculty: Learning Communities Protocols and Activities


This extensive collection of protocols and strategies from the National School Reform Faculty is an essential resource for those facilitating professional development. There are protocols on everything from looking at student work to professional dialogue on problematic classroom scenarios to discussing shared readings.


Since 1994, the National School Reform Faculty® has created and refined more than 200 protocols and activities to use in Critical Friends Group® work, in classrooms, meetings of all sorts, and beyond. All those familiar protocols which have always been freely available on our website (many of which are found in the NSRF® Resource Book) are still indexed and available below. For clarity’s sake, we’re referring to this collection as “Open NSRF Protocols, v. 3.2” as these are the same protocols available on our Materials CD-ROM, v.3.2, still available for purchase through NSRF. In the Protocols A-Z list, they’re indicated with a .

A to Z – alphabetical listing of protocols, instructions, and activities

Learning Communities – tools useful in building and maintaining learning communities
Equity – materials related to exploring equity
Inquiry – tools for exploring topics and ideas
Team-building and trust-building experiences – activities to help you work together better
Dilemma protocols – for use with challenging problems without a clear answer
Observation protocols – for peers to learn from one another
Text protocols – with a variety of purposes
Protocols and activities good to use in the classroom – with a variety of age groups
Protocols good for administrative uses – strategic planning and other business tools
Brainstorming protocols – tools to brainstorm more effectively