Because of the requirements for 21C teaching, the need for effective professional learning has never been greater. Yet, in many senses, teachers suffer from undifferentiated professional learning programs that are not integrated into everyday work, and are largely unrelated to immediate challenges.
There is little or no ROI on investment in professional learning, in terms of demonstrable growth in student learning, as identified by NAPLAN results, which show little or no improvement in learning results over 5 years now.
There is broad demand for professional learning embedded in the daily challenges of the classroom. These need to help teachers build skills continually, cost-effectively, and in ways that mitigate traditional teacher isolation by building social networks inside and outside the school.
Teachers have to negotiate vast amounts of proprietary, open, and user-generated content, but what is really required is for search and discovery engines that enable them to curate personalized learning experiences.
Teachers gain tremendous value from interacting with peers and colleagues--sharing challenges, successes, what works, and what doesn’t. Community support is a big part of the way teachers process and apply what they learn.
We have included “Engage” as the first stage of the professional learning cycle because often it is from conversations with colleagues that teachers identify new practices that they want to implement or solutions to problems they would like to fix. New methods for teaching are being created, re-imagined or revived from the past. These new methods influence skills and pedagogy. Teachers are continually learning, and they do this by checking in with experts and taking time to learn new information and approaches.
Measurement can be both an informal and a formal process to track growth. These activities, which most often take the forms of evaluations and observations, help the teacher assess how their learning has impacted their practice in the classroom. It also helps them determine whether they have mastered a new skill and are ready to move onto something new.
mme moe is beginning to make a significant contribution as a new personalised, differentiated professional learning infrastructure for teachers and learning communities.