Evaluating Broad Based Professional Learning: A Case Study of a School System’s Implementation of Quality Teaching Pedagogies

By Janette Long, Elizabeth Labone and Marea Anne Nicholson.

Published by The Diversity Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Research in the past decade has consistently identified that it is the teacher that makes the difference to student learning outcomes. As such, quality pedagogy is of critical importance in ensuring positive student outcomes. Building on this a primary and secondary school system in Australia embarked on a three year system-wide professional learning initiative focussed on building teacher knowledge and practice of quality pedagogy. Specifically the system based professional learning comprised 12 separate but integrated activities related to implementation of the Quality Teaching Framework (QTF) (Gore and Ludwig, 2004). This paper reports on the findings of the evaluation of this professional learning initiative. Data was collected from principal questionnaires, focus groups and four case study school sites. Findings indicate that the bulk of the professional learning was targeted at leadership and executive level staff, with the expectation that this learning be contextualised and implemented at the individual schools. While the learning and reported implementation of quality teaching was fairly high at executive level, the results suggest difficulties in such knowledge filtering through to the classroom level. Of the 12 activities included in the model, the most effective were those that allowed individual schools to engage in their own related professional learning that was integrated with current school initiatives. The paper discusses these key issues as well as suggests processes that may facilitate effective professional learning at classroom teacher level.

Keywords: System Based Professional Learning, Teachers’ Professional Learning, Quality Teaching Pedagogy

International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp.125-138. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.197MB).

Dr. Janette Long

Senior Lecturer in Education, Faculty of Education, Australian Catholic University, Strathfield, NSW, Australia

Dr. Janette Long is Senior Lecturer in Education at the Australian Catholic University, Strathfield and contributes to both primary and secondary teacher education courses at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Her research interests include professional development and learning, supervision, the practicum, mentoring, teachers’ professional knowledge, diversity in the classroom, curriculum, assessment and evaluation issues.

Dr. Elizabeth Labone

Lecturer in Education, Faculty of Education, Australian Catholic University, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Elizabeth Labone is a Lecturer in Educational Psychology at the Australian Catholic University. Her research interests are in the study of self-efficacy particulary the sources and impacts of teacher efficacy. Elizabeth also has interest in processes that enhance teacher efficacy and professional learning structures that enhance and support teacher efficacy.

Dr. Marea Anne Nicholson

Australian Catholic University, NSW, Australia

Associate Professor Marea Nicholson is currently Head of School of Education, NSW at the Australian Catholic University. Her current interests include academic leadership in higher education, preservice teacher education, school and university partnerships and children and families at risk.

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