WHAT IS CONTINUOUS PROFESSIONAL LEARNING (CPL) FOR TEACHERS AND WHY IS IT ESSENTIAL FOR SUCCESSFUL STUDENT OUTCOMES?
Katherine Hume, Cross Campus Assistant Principal, Continuous Professional Learning
eaningful teacher professional learning is not just a buzzword or a tick box, it is a critical component to the success of everyone at Bangkok Patana School: students, teachers, parents and leaders alike. When teachers receive professional learning that is exciting, innovative, relevant and practical, they grow and become the best hope our students have for success. Access to effective CPL encourages teachers to be more confident, motivated and inspired, giving them the reward of greater professional satisfaction, therefore, it follows that the more colleagues who feel this way, the greater the positive impact will be on the ethos and success of our school. The use of CPL can encourage and promote a learning culture with staff helping to exemplify to students that learning is a valuable, enjoyable, lifelong activity. A more fulfilled workforce can also have a positive impact on staff commitment and retention as people feel valued and invested in. Rachel Ells calls this ‘collective teacher efficacy’ and Professor John Hattie ranks collective teacher efficacy as number one in his analysis of effect size on student outcomes.
provide direction and support, but also trust their staff and encourage creativity, innovation and a degree of risk-taking. Evidence shows that the most effective CPL is that which is:
• Personalised – i.e. built on the teacher’s identified needs and requirements rather than a ‘one size fits all’ approach. • Relevant – relates to teachers pedagogy and/ or subject specialism and the needs of their learners. • Sustained – New skills and ideas need time to take hold; experimentation and refinement is the best way to embed new ideas into classroom practice. • Supported – by coaching or mentoring from experienced colleagues, either from within or from outside the school. • Collaborative – while teaching could be seen as a solitary profession, collaboration with fellow teachers and colleagues has been identified as one of the In education, research has shown that teaching qualimost relevant features required for effective teacher ty and school leadership are the most important factors learning. in raising student achievement. For teachers and school leaders to be as effective as possible, they continually As a school and community, we understand the imporexpand their knowledge and skills to implement the best tance of investing in and offering a wide and varied range educational practices. Continuous professional learning of pathways for academic staff, at all levels, to access CPL is the strategy we use at Bangkok Patana to ensure that opportunities. Some examples of these are: all academic staff continue to strengthen their practice • Training courses and workshops – internally and throughout their career. A recurring theme in educational externally research is the need to create a culture of trust and chal• Studying for a qualification or accreditation lenge in schools to enable professional learning of teach• Online courses/webinars/podcasts ers to prosper. In the most successful schools, the leaders • Teacher Learning Communities (TLCs) 2
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