Teacher Professional Learning and Development

Welcome to the second week of the Leading Learning module! Before you get started working through the material below, there are two initial steps for you to take:
  1. If you haven't already, introduce yourself on the Voicethread that can be found on the 'Getting to know you' page. If you need support in using Voicethread, you can find instructions on the 'Voicethread' page in the Resources section.
  2. Make sure that you have downloaded the reading for this week which can be found at http://www.ibe.unesco.org/fileadmin/user_upload/Publications/Educational_Practices/EdPractices_18.pd

Goal for Week Two

Leaders will understand what Helen Timperley’s current research says about teacher professional learning and development which is shown to have positive impact on valued student outcomes.

Outcome. Participants will have reflected on their organisational practice in relation to the Timperley research and will have greater awareness of how they might apply the 10 key principles of the research to support the ICT PD programme.

Structure for the week

This reading has an Introduction and a conclusion and 10 sections based on the ten sections from the research. Some sections are simply summarised (either with text or in a mindmap) while for others there are the following activities:
Reading for Meaning questions - questions that can act as a study guide as you move through the text and will help to clarify your thinking.

Reflection questions - questions for you to reflect on within your own context.

Contribution to the Group - sharing back some of your thinking around the concepts from that section.

The reading - Introduction section

Summary of the four important understandings arising from the research

1. Notwithstanding the influence of factors such as socio-economic status, home, and community, student learning is strongly influenced by what and how teachers teach.

2. Teaching is a complex activity. Teachers’ moment-by-moment decisions about lesson content and process are shaped by multiple factors. Such factors include teachers’ knowledge and beliefs about what is important to teach, how students learn, and how to manage student behaviour, as well as meeting external demands.

3. It is important to set up conditions that are responsive to the ways in which teachers learn. A recent overview of the research identified the following as important for encouraging learning:
  • engaging learners’ prior conceptions about how the world works;
  • developing deep factual and conceptual knowledge, organised into frameworks that facilitate retrieval and application;
  • promoting metacognitive and self-regulatory processes that help learners define goals and then monitor their progress towards them.

4. Professional learning is strongly shaped by the context in which the teacher practises. This is usually the classroom, which, in turn, is strongly influenced by the wider school culture and the community and society in which the school is situated. Teachers’ daily experiences in their practice context shape their understandings, and their understandings shape their experiences.

Leading Question

Why are these understandings important when developing any professional learning programme?