Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Professional Learning - Whose Responsibility Is It?

The eLearning Buzz: Through the Looking Glass - Teacher Self-S...: Over the past few months I've been reading about, and investigating issues around, teacher self-study.  (Another form is Action Research ...

This post was written almost two years ago now.  I'm about to start my final Masters paper and have started to think again about all the learning that has happened over the past few years.  I'm also looking forward to finishing this paper and beginning more study.

My reason for revisiting and reflecting on this post is because I've just finished reading a post by Edna Sackson - Teachers' Action Research.  The full post can be found at and is well worth the reading and reflection.  What are your views on teacher responsibility for professional development and learning?
What percentage is our responsibility and what is that of the schools in which we teach and learn?  How far along the continuum are you as a learner alongside your students?  Do we 'walk the talk'?

Edna asks an important question:  "How can we create new models of professional learning in our school that help build our learning community, while embedding our learning principles in our practice?"

I've taught in schools where teacher responsibility for professional learning is expected and valued and it really does lead to rich conversations and exciting learning - both for the teachers and for the students.

What happens in your schools in terms of Action Research / Professional Learning?  Do you value different forms of Social Media as part of your daily professional learning? e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Scoop.It, LinkedIn.  How do you receive professional development - when and from what sources?  Does it happen because you're part of a contract and it's expected or do you take responsibility for your own learning?  Afterall, it's what we expect of our students...

I really like this quote and have had many discussions over the years around this.  I believe that you can have 'expertise' in an area but, the moment you think you are an expert is the moment you stop learning.  


  1. As a great grandmother I have seen many school issues, both good & bad,& I have seen children bloom & flourish with some teachers & I have also seen how some teachers can totally destroy a child's love of school & will to learn.
    I think the ability to teach our children to love learning & to have respect of teachers, is not something that comes naturally to some. A good teacher is born to be one, they can gain their pupils trust & they have the ability to get even the most unwilling child to actually like learning. I appreciate its a tough job & only a dedicated teacher will cope with all the kicks in the pants they get on their journey. But I wish that those who don't actually want to be in the class would look for another source of employment. I don't know If they are even aware of the fact that they can destroy a child's desire to learn, or If they just don't care.I was mildly aware of this when my kids were being educated, but I didn't speak out as a busy Mum with four kids I just thought that there was nothing that could be done. My ire was raised over a grand babies total change in personality & love of school. It was totally the teacher destroying a little one who had achieved & done so well, almost like that teacher was trying to crush her personality.. well she did anyhow. A change of school a new class of teachers, a year down the track & that little one is again blossoming.& yes they are using social media for some of their learning, it really is capable of generating interest & make school a fun place to be. She is also now taking part in a weekly "Eagles" class & loving school to the extent that she wakes before her parents every day to get ready to catch her bus to school, her day is a long one because of the bus rides daily but she loves it. I so wish I had been able to love school, as obviously your pupils do Justine. I wish you well with your project & I hope other teachers get in behind you, support your theories & learn how to be encouraging of the children's achievements & not destroy all the good work a previous fantastic teacher had done.

  2. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment on this post.
    I absolutely agree with what you are saying. For me, teaching is not a job - it's a passion, a vocation - and some who know me, would probably say my hobby and my life rolled into one.
    Sometimes you are criticised for this but I love what I do and get the biggest buzz out of seeing students achieve - but, more importantly, develop a love of learning and a thirst for new knowledge.
    Social media does now play a big part in learning. My best learning happens through the blogs, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
    Thanks again for taking the time to comment. :-)