Teacher Professional Learning
The cornerstone of learning innovation is teachers who are inspired by new ideas and emerging technologies and who reflectively incorporate the latest research into their teaching. The College is wholly committed to the idea of continual improvement in its pedagogical practices and supports this principle by providing quality professional development opportunities and an integrated professional learning program for its teachers. In this way all teachers build capacity and foster improved learning outcomes for all students. College-based professional learning events are scheduled across our calendar. Teachers are encouraged to engage in relevant professional learning through their subject area associations, the Association of Independent Schools and other external providers. In this way your daughter is assured of benefitting from the latest research as well as the wisdom of years of shared experience embodied in a vibrant and highly competent staff fully connected to the broader education community.
Teacher professional learning is the growth of teacher expertise that includes professional development processes activities and experiences that provide opportunities to extend teacher learning and support accreditation against the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers. Teachers maintain a Record of Evidence to support their professional growth in alignment with the College’s strategic mission statements and incorporate professional development activities to meet the NESA accreditation requirements as per Teacher Accreditation Authority (TAA) regulations.
Learning and Teaching Leadership Team
The Director of Professional Learning and Pedagogy, the Director of Innovative Learning, and the Assistant Principal Learning and Teaching, collaborate as the Learning and Teaching Leadership Team to lead and model teaching practice for sustainable school improvement through pedagogical leadership that supports teachers to develop their practice. Our strategic priorities include developing teacher inquiry into practice that enables an environment for student-centred, digitally enhanced, and intellectually challenging learning. The team leads teachers in their practice that is evidence-based from recent education research and assured through the analysis of their learners’ data – quantitative ‘big’ data from standardised and diagnostic testing for Year groups, quantitative subject level data, and qualitative data at class and individual student level. The implications of current research are shared by mentoring teacher leaders as well as coaching teachers working in teams. Data is drawn from teacher-driven action learning projects and is transparently reported to teachers.
Professional Learning Program – The Learning Thinking Scope
Since 2017, teachers at the College have been engaged in a professional learning program called the Learning Thinking Scope. In leading teacher inquiry into their own practice, the Director of Professional Learning and Pedagogy facilitates workshops and coaches teachers through the professional learning program that relies on professional trust and utilises a collaborative cycle of inquiry that supports teacher collective efficacy.
- Teachers are supported in building collective efficacy through critical self-assessment, sharing learning reflections and formative feedback;
- Teachers use thinking constructs and organisers to order and record responses, including reflections on short video clip snapshots of practice as are transferrable to different contexts;
- Learning intentions and success criteria along with feedback and other research-based strategies that demonstrate an above average impact on learning are integral to the professional learning program;
- Taxonomies of learning provide a cognitive focus for a pedagogy of questioning and are supported with scaffolded examples;
- Increasing learner talk in the classroom and embedding formative assessment are approached as difficult dynamics to change from inculcated practice;
The evidence-base of research literature is used to support action learning projects for teaching teams to answer ‘How will we know our impact? How will we measure our success?’
The Learning Thinking Scope focusses on school-wide learning improvement through collective efficacy in which teams of teachers own and work on problems of practice together. Significantly, teachers have shifted their understanding of influences on student learning. There is an increase in focus on high impact factors on learning such as individual student motivation and student-teacher relationships, with some teachers citing collective efficacy as a key factor. The idea of establishing a common language across the school when discussing common ideas is pervasive and clearly important in the renewed teacher thinking and investigating current practice in the light of teaching techniques presented. Across the school teachers are keen to be involved in collaborative processes leading to improved student outcomes, showing a positive engagement with the Learning Thinking Scope and a willingness to adopt changed practice in the classroom.