Effective professional learning…
I thought about the subject matter.
I looked at my watch.
I focused for a while.
I checked my email.
I tried to listen.
I thought about other things.
I asked a question.
I wondered why the question wasn’t answered adequately.
I thought about effective professional development…
Have you ever been to a PD session like that? (Rhetorical question! I know you have.)
Staff at my school spent some time last year developing shared beliefs about learning. Why shouldn’t these principles apply to teachers’ learning too?
- We learn in different ways, depending on abilities, learning styles, preferences and interests.
- Learning takes place through inquiry: questioning, exploring, experimenting and problem solving.
- Learning includes acquisition of skills and knowledge, constructing meaning and transfer to different contexts.
- Learning is active and social and is enhanced by collaboration and interaction.
- Learners need to feel secure, valued and able to take risks.
- Learning needs to be challenging, meaningful, purposeful and engaging.
- Learning includes meta-cognition and reflection, which support learners taking ownership of their learning.
10 ways to ensure effective professional learning…
1. Teachers need to be responsible for their own learning.
To inspire others to learn, you need to be a learner yourself. Actively seek out professional learning opportunities. Engage with educators via social media. Read blogs. Sign up to Twitter.
Don’t plan whole staff sessions for teachers with different levels of experience and varied needs. Include choice.