What is high quality professional learning? What are the characteristics of a high quality professional learning culture?
As I read through AITSL’s document: The Essential Guide to Professional Learning: Leading Culture I was aware of the key words that ‘popped’ from the page. Words like collaboration, support, feedback, evaluation, mentor, reflection, inquiry, vision, independence, motivation, challenge and role models. These were the words that characterized my early, formative years of teaching. I know I was in the right place at the right time. My role as teacher, my identity as a professional and the relationship I had with ‘learning’ burgeoned over that time. Why?
It would be naive of me to think that I could summarise it all in one paragraph. But I know that there was a balanced combination of vision, leadership and permission to take risks, collaborate, invent and be excellent. We all wanted to be the best, teach the best, enable out students to be their best.
In the intervening years I have been discouraged. The real world does not always allow for innovation. Best practice can be threatening, new ideas can be too hard. If that is your experience too do not lose heart. Demand high quality professional learning for your self. Start there and see how that shapes your view of the learning culture around you.