Australian Professional Standards for Teachers

Utilising the zone of confusion

About this Illustration of Practice

A grade 5 teacher who is also a numeracy leader at St Georges Rd Primary School, trials a 3D shape activity generated out of a collaborative professional learning network. The numeracy leaders from three schools work with a consultant to develop and trial maths lessons and activities relevant to their context. After trialing the activities in their own classrooms the numeracy leaders then support colleagues from the three schools to also implement the strategies. In this class the teacher supports the students to work within a 'zone of confusion', which affords them opportunity to address a series of challenging activities before he provides more instructional support.

Standard 6
Engage in professional learning
Focus area 6.3
Engage with colleagues and improve practice
Career stage
Highly Accomplished
Initiate and engage in professional discussions with colleagues in a range of forums to evaluate practice directed at improving professional knowledge and practice, and the educational outcomes of students.
Other descriptors
Standard 3
Plan for and implement effective teaching and learning
Focus area 3.2
Plan, structure and sequence learning programs
Career stage
Highly Accomplished
Work with colleagues to plan, evaluate and modify learning and teaching programs to create productive learning environments that engage all students.
  1. What strategies can you use to ensure that the benefits of professional learning undertaken by staff are shared with colleagues?
  2. How could professional learning communities enhance the teaching and learning in your school context?
Learning area
Year level
Year 5
Australian Curriculum content descriptions
St. Georges Road Primary School
Year level
Year 5
Related subject
Stage of schooling
School type
School location
View full map

St Georges Road Primary School services a culturally and linguistically diverse community. The educational program prioritises Literacy, Numeracy, learning to learn and ICT. As part of their drive to build strong, respectful partnerships within their community, the school has teamed up with two other local schools, Gowrie St Primary School and Wilmot Road Primary School, to establish a Professional Learning Community. The PLC provides a collaborative platform for the schools to access outside consultants and to plan and conduct professional learning that positively impacts teachers across each of the schools.  

Content provider
AITSL Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership

© Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL), 2014 (except where indicated under acknowledgements). You may use, reproduce and adapt this material for educational purposes until 30 June 2019, provided you retain this notice and all acknowledgements associated with the material.