Sunday, June 9, 2013


Visiting groups of educators often ask how do we run our professional development at Freemans Bay School. 

This has got me thinking about our professional development model - ofcourse it has been a journey and has changed over time. However what has developed sits within a framework of key beliefs about   personalised learning, as it is with students.

We expect our professional development or teacher learning model to emulate or parallel our learning model with students. We don't want a one size fits all, front of class, one size fits all whole class instruction for students or teachers. We do want learning to be personalised,  authentic, meaningful, contextual and set in small groups or with individuals. It is also set within the context of solving problems around student learning outcomes.

Teacher learning model reflects student learning model
·         Personalising learning
·         Opportunities for interaction / small group/ online
·         Interaction / feedback/ feed-forward
·         Replicates teaching methods (virtual and real) expected of teachers
·         Capacity to delve deeply into topic based on student and teacher needs

Key concepts front loaded
·         Future focused learning
·         Personalising learning
·         E-learning
·         Inquiry
·         Reflection frameworks
·         Interaction / online / small groups/ feedback/ feed forward

 Encourage as many staff as possible to grow the vision.
·         to present at conferences, workshops and participate in vision school tours.
·         to apply for awards / fellowships/ university study
·         to present to each other – in open workshop style
·         Around school vision, beliefs about teaching and learning

This model starts with co-constructing what our beliefs are about personalising learning and then drills down to specific issues with student outcomes. Teachers are able to work together on common themes, researching and discussing ideas, trialing new ways to respond to issues and co-constructing new ways of teaching practice. The learning needs of teachers are identified and co-constructed based on the needs of students.

   Collaboration, innovation, reflection, feedback, feed forward are all part of the process.  New practices are expected and results shared in a supportive structure for learning. In other words teachers are supported to explore problems related to their students learning through a variety of learning experiences that are co-constructed with their peers.

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