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How are you fostering effective teacher learning?

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Started by Enabling e-Learning 25 Aug 2011 10:36am () Replies (7)

To build a strong house, you need all the walls to be strong, and well built.You can work on each wall individually, and one wall may be started or finished before another, but they are always built with an eye on the whole house.

I really like the way Dunedin City Rise cluster have managed their professional development, as described in their reflective summary (thanks, Diane Mills here). She makes the point very clearly that professional learning is intertwined - and therefore, must be aligned - with a range of other dimensions across the school - leadership, infrastructure development, community engagement....

I wonder how other schools manage the 'wall building'? How do you make sure that the different dimensions develop together, to make sure professional learning is aligned with a bigger picture?


  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 14 Sep 2011 12:43pm ()

    Some ICT PD clusters have been sharing stories about how their teachers and principals have been engaging in professional learning. A short summary of their reflections can be viewed @ /pg/blog/read/116368/professional-learning-communities

    The question is also asked, What else makes for an effective professional e-learning community?

  • Enabling e-Learning (View all users posts) 04 Oct 2011 9:07am ()

    I have just watched this great video (another amazing piece of art from RSA Animates, the folk who animated Sir Ken Robinson's speech). This one is Dan Pink's 'Surprising truth about what motivates people'.

    I'll give you a clue: it's not money (or rather, for cognitive tasks like those we do in education, money isn't the biggest driver). So what is?

    What's in this video that could be relevant for school PD?

  • Suzie Vesper (View all users posts) 04 Oct 2011 10:47am ()

    I think that connections and interactions with other people combined with a willingness to reflect honestly on our own teaching are the biggest drivers for effective teacher learning. The principal needs to be someone that has can leverage the knowledge of the staff to build a collective understanding of 'the big picture' while still supporting individuals (either directly or though setting up robust processes) to move towards that vision.

    I've just blogged about a great article I've just read on 'coaches' in teaching. Who is it that provides us with the support we need to make changes to our professional practices?

    I also love the way that the 'Train the teacher' blog refers to her blog and Twitter connections as providing a large pool of people that she can continue to learn from. 

  • Karen Spencer (View all users posts) 28 Mar 2012 3:02pm ()

    Thought I would share this blog post from Dana Huff (of the well-known blog huffenglish.com), where she describes her experiences supporting other teachers with their learning around technology:

    >> Reluctance and Technology Integration

    It's quite detailed and includes feedback from the #edtech Twitter stream too; she pulls together some key themes in response to the question: “What do you do at your school to encourage teachers who are reluctant to embrace & integrate technology?”, including:

    • Offer extensive professional development.
    • Demonstrate using the technology is really going to make their teaching better.
    • Model technology integration (or provide models).
    • Provide resources and choices.

    Would you agree?

  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 03 May 2012 1:56pm ()

    Thank you Karen I've enjoyed reading Dana Huff's post. Finding out Why Teachers are Reluctant to Use Technology and sharing strategies for overcoming the resistance/reluctance is a good place to start. Reminds me of the rich discussions shared in the thread, How to help the 'technophobes'...?


    I think this also involves an understanding of change management processes and the complexities of coaching adults as learners – the nature of andragogy. A quote from Malcolm Knowles reads,


    Andragogy assumes that the point at which an individual achieves a self-concept of essential self-direction is the point at which he psychologically becomes adult. A very critical thing happens when this occurs: the individual develops a deep psychological need to be perceived by others as being self-directing. Thus, when he finds himself in a situation in which he is not allowed to be self-directing, he experiences a tension between that situation and his self-concept. His reaction is bound to be tainted with resentment and resistance.


    Effective facilitators would also be mindful of how adults learn best and what this looks like when adult learning is successfulhttp://corechangemanagement.wikispaces.com/Facilitation+Strategies

  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 03 May 2012 8:47pm ()

    I realise teeacher PLD is a complex issue, with lots of great research to guide us. I forgot to add some 'food for thought' from a recent blog post by Derek Wenmoth highlighting five promising ideas that were identified from the McKinsey foundation studies. It challenges a traditional view about how we see approaches to professional development and learning and asks us to, break the habit of ineffective professional development for teachers.



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