Teachers as Leaders of Professional Learning
This article discusses Ontario’s Teachers Learning and Leadership Program (TLLP), which aims to support experienced teachers’ professional learning, develop teachers’ leadership skills, and facilitate knowledge exchange to share practices. The author’s research identifies considerable benefits of professional learning led “by, with and for” experienced teachers involving collaborative learning and sharing of practices. Opportunities for teachers’ learning and developing their leadership through the experience of being TLLP project leaders is challenging and rewarding. The benefits for teachers being recognized and encouraged as leaders of professional learning are considerable. To support knowledge exchange and spreading practices, the twin strategies of developing professional collaboration and of developing practical resources for use by teachers appear to be the most prevalent and impactful approaches. Lessons emerging for education systems and for teachers seeking to develop professional learning and leadership by, with and for teachers are outlined.Read Full Article
Mentoring Pre Service Teachers – Everybody wins
Associate teachers are key contributors to the education and development of pre-service teachers. They play a variety of roles, including coach, model, and critical friend. Increasingly, the role of co-learner is gaining recognition from teachers and researchers. This article introduces preliminary research exploring associate teachers’ visions of their learning within the mentorship experience. It identifies supports and strategies to promote this expanded approach to professional learning. More than an incidental benefit of the mentoring experience, the learning gained through associate teaching can be a significant component of planned professional learning, advancing experienced teachers’ practice through reflection, modeling and inquiry. Mentoring a pre-service teacher is truly a reciprocal, collaborative learning experience where everybody wins.Read Full Article
In the Beginning Was the Ballroom...
An increasing amount of attention is being paid to the intimate connection between student achievement and the quality of teacher practice, resulting in a noticeable shift from professional development and training to professional learning. In this article, the author warns against trying to replace one-size-fits-all PD with a single model of professional learning. Instead, he argues that the use of a constellation metaphor can help us recognize the inherent value in the wide array of approaches available to educators today. Seeing the patterns of connection between site-based learning teams, district-directed experiences, grassroots events and social media networks can help us to create rich and diverse opportunities for deep professional learning.Read Full Article