planning for professional learning
Planning effectively for individual, faculty, KLA or school-wide professional learning can be a hot or miss-affair; what you read about by way of advertising and what actually happens and how this relates to student outcomes, professional accountability and your professional practice is not just a matter of budget, individual needs or the provision of CRT staff. How often do you meet the same people at the same conferences? Listen to the same up-beat motivational spins? Choose to learn and research alone on with free-offerings from the Internet?
Professional learning is more often than not a compromise … but it need not be!
Current models of continuing professional development vary from:
- Training – generally ‘delivered’ to the teacher by an ‘expert’, with the agenda determined by the deliverer, with the participant placed in a passive role
- Contemporary Model – university delivered or award-bearing courses
- Conference PL – attending ‘training events’ and then disseminating the information to colleagues – How cost effective is this model?
- Standards-based PL – a system of eacher education, that generates validate connections between teacher effectiveness and student learning – the so-called accountability model
- Coaching/Mentoring – one-to-one relationship, generally between two teachers, designed to support collegial development
- Communities of Practice – learning within a community of practice as a result of that community and its interactions
- Action Research PL – involving the teachers as researchers, with a view to improving the quality of their practice
- Transformative PL – Balance between teacher-centred and context-specific models
Before you decide on any professional development program either individually or as a staff some key questions should guide your planning:
Is the course that you wish to take procedural or informational?
Is the course focused on individual or collective development?
Is the course a form of accountability?
Will the course support professional independence?
Is the course simply information transmission or will it develop transformative practice?
transformative practice: involves any combination of the above and is at the core of what can be achieved in he classroom. Change – transformative practice – is not a miracle but the rewards for students and teachers alike can be profound and is at the centre of all professional development courses developed through learnink.