Teaching the whole teacher
Effective staff learning and development needs to address the various needs of educators at various stages in their careers if it is to lead to the best possible educational outcomes for students. Professional learning, for educators, is about continuous improvement for the purpose of achieving exemplary practice. That is the expectation in any good school, so it is only proper that every school should make a significant commitment to supporting staff in their learning and teaching. The Peninsula School, south-east of Melbourne, does that through what its staff learning and development program. The program aims to enhance the professional life of each staff member, and thereby provide quality educational outcomes for the students. It integrates various approaches to staff learning and development for the various needs of educators at various stages in their careers. Beginning teachers are appointed mentors; more experienced staff participate in professional learning syndicates, which work on projects with direct relevance to student learning outcomes; teachers interested in leadership join the aspiring leaders' program; long-serving staff who do not wish to become leaders are offered targeted professional development opportunities. Underlying the approach is the understanding that a school is a large learning community for staff as much for students. [Author abstract, ed]
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