Improving Teacher Professional Learning

Get the most from your professional development

What you told us
Professional learning templates
Video case studies
Research and evidence
HQPL infographic Your 7 top insights about professional learning 2,215 survey responses Explore 90 70 50 30 10 After professional learning 76% a wanted to changesomething in their teaching of leaders are involved in the professional learning of their school Only 100% 70% 90% 50% 30% 10% Common barriers to accessing professional learning Casual and relief teachers Early childhoodteachers Rural and remote teachers Isolation Time Common to Rural and remote teachers AND Early childhood teachers is the shortage of Casual relief teachers 64% undertook 4 or more activities 27% of casual or relief teachers reported - no activities - isolation from PL Professional learning undertaken by teachers Top 4 approaches to professional learning Attended course in person 28% Professional reading 13% Online learning 12% Professional conversations 12% Effective alternatives to "going to a course". Professional learning focused on Content and subject 34% Assessment 33% Student learning and teaching 15% Considerations for professional learning selection Matched my development needs Suited the learning needs of my students It would give me practical things to try Teacher Activities that contribute to school's needs and aims Ensure all teachers are undertaking quality PL Teachers preferto take PL activities together School leader 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
HQPL infographic Your 7 top insights about professional learning 2,215 responses Explore 90% 70% 50% 30% 10% After professional learning 76% a wanted to changesomething in their teaching of leaders are involved inthe professional learning of theirschool Only 100% 80% 60% 40% 20% Common barriers to professional learning Casual and relief teachers Early childhood teachers Rural andremoteteachers Isolation Time Common to Rural and remote teachers AND Early childhood teachers is the shortage of Casual relief teachers Professional learningundertaken by teachers 64% undertook 4 or more activities 27% of casual or relief teachers reported - no activities - isolation from PL Top 4 forms to professional learning Attended course in person 28% Professional reading 13% Online learning 12% Professional conversations 12% Effective alternatives to "going to a course". Professional learning focused on Content and subject 34% Assessment 33% Student learning and teaching 15% Considerations for professional learning selection Matched my development needs Suited the learning needs of my students It would give me practical things to try Teacher Activities that contribute to school's needs and aims Ensure all teachers are undertaking quality PL Teachers preferto take PL activities together School leader 5 of 7

Creating a whole-school approach to professional learning

Professional learning follows the journey of a continuous learning cycle, whether you are a teacher or a school leader.

Professional learning cycle HIGH QUALITY PROFESSIONAL LEARNING CYCLE Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4 Identify professional learning need Select and undertake learning Apply and refine learning Evaluate overall impact Learn more Learn more Learn more Learn more
HQPL learning cycle HIGH QUALITY PROFESSIONAL LEARNING CYCLE Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4 Identify professional learning need Select and undertake learning Apply and refine learning Evaluate overall impact Learn more Learn more Learn more Learn more

Professional learning is high quality when it is

relevant Relevant
collaborative Collaborative
future-focused_1 Future-focused

Resources for teachers

  1. 1

    Use the High Quality Professional Learning Cycle to plan your learning for the year.

    PDF - 124 KB Word 85 KB

Resources for leaders

  1. 1

    Use Enabling the High Quality Professional Learning Cycle to reflect on the staff learning culture in your school/service.

    PDF - 164 KB Word - 79 KB

  2. 2

    Read the Enabling High Quality Professional Learning - practical guide to understand your role in supporting teachers through the four stages of the ongoing professional learning process.

    PDF - 4585 KB Word - 2569 KB

  3. 3

    Encourage staff to use the High Quality Professional Learning Cycle to support their professional learning and supplement their P&D conversations.

    PDF - 124 KB Word 85 KB

Video case studies

Explore a range of approaches to implementing a culture of high quality professional learning as part of the everyday life of your school.

Find out more about coaching

Coaching is an important professional learning strategy that supports professional growth.

Coaching can address a range of characteristics and developmental needs that contribute to the effectiveness of a teacher.

Learning walks as a PL approach

Learning walks are when a group of teachers visit multiple classrooms at their own school with the aim of fostering conversation about teaching and learning in order to develop a shared vision of high quality teaching that impacts on student learning.

Find out more with a video case study and how-to guide.

Professional learning communities

Professional learning communities (PLCs) provide an avenue for teachers to work collaboratively to translate research into practice, develop and refine new strategies, plan learning sequences, analyse data and evaluate impact.

Find out more about how to implement PLCs in your school.

Formative assessment

Find out about the exciting new work AITSL is undertaking with ACARA and ESA in learning progressions and formative assessment.

Education ministers have agreed that learning progressions and online formative assessment should be a national priority initiative for education.

Effective goal setting

Setting goals is an important part of professional growth.

Find out how to get started with our goal setting guide.

Team teaching

Team teaching can be a powerful way to engage with colleagues for professional growth.

This Illustration of Practice shows how a pair of secondary teachers from the Australian Science and Maths School examined the impact of team teaching on student outcomes.

Inter-school partnerships

The school leadership and teachers from three schools in Shepparton Victoria discuss their collaborative professional learning community in this Illustration of Practice.

Combining resources and sharing expertise between schools can generate benefits for the whole community, particularly in regional, rural and remote locations.

HQPL cycle stage 1 - Identify professional learning need

Before teachers select their professional learning, they need to consider what their learning need is, how it aligns with site/school improvement goals and processes and the type of support that they would require.

To enable this, it’s important that teachers and leaders are equipped with the knowledge to analyse/collect data to determine their learning needs.

The value of quality feedback

Students provide valuable peer learning to each other, through providing feedback as well as exploring examples of others’ work.

Our feedback case study from Clancy Catholic College looks at how work samples help students understand what a continuum of success looks like, as well as other strategies.

The flipped classroom model

Find out more about using technology to enable a flipped classroom model in this Illustration of Practice.

Established in 2011, Gungahlin College is a senior secondary school for years 10–12 in the ACT. The school was designed and purpose built to incorporate extensive use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in a wireless networking environment.

HQPL cycle stage 2 – Select and undertake learning

The Australian Charter for the Professional Learning of Teachers and School Leaders describes high quality professional learning as relevant, collaborative and future-focused. Teachers should be reminded to consider this when selecting professional learning.

To enable this, it’s important that staff are aware of different types of professional learning, noting that school embedded, collaborative and longer-term professional learning is more effective.

Team teaching for professional growth

Team teaching can provide powerful opportunities to break down the boundaries between classrooms, and for teachers to share expertise.

Find out more about how a NSW HALT has implemented team teaching to support an early career teacher in her school.

HQPL cycle stage 3 – Apply and refine learning

Professional learning is high quality when opportunities are provided to teachers to apply, reflect and refine, and even share their learning. A strong culture of learning in the school/service is crucial to support this stage.

To enable this, it’s important that staff are given adequate time and support to assess, reflect and refine their learning through the process, while being encouraged to be innovative.

School context

After six years of fluctuation in leadership, Anula Primary School developed a whole school approach to literacy and numeracy. The approach embeds high expectations for student growth. Students with intensive English language needs are supported with a targeted 12 – 18 month program.

Student data

Find out more about using student data in this Illustration of Practice for focus area 5.4.

Illustrations of Practice are short videos that demonstrate what the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers look like in action. Videos are available across all focus areas and career stages.

Identify professional learning need

Before teachers select their professional learning, they need to consider what their learning need is, how it aligns with site/school improvement goals and processes and the type of support that they would require.

Learn more about PLCs

A professional learning community (PLC) in schools involves collaboration, sharing and ongoing critical interrogation of teaching practices in line with professional standards. PLCs should be learning-oriented and promote the growth of teachers and students.

Apply and refine learning

Professional learning is high quality when opportunities are provided to teachers to apply, reflect and refine and even share their learning. A strong culture of learning in the school/site is crucial to support this stage.

The HQPL cycle outlines the conditions to be considered.

Videos of practice

Classroom practice is recorded and later viewed as a means of observation of self and/or others. The aim is to support self-reflection and provide access to observation of others’ practice anytime, anywhere.

Select and undertake learning

The Australian Charter for the Professional Learning of Teachers and School Leaders describes high quality In this publication high quality professional learning is described as relevant, collaborative and future-focused. Teachers should consider this when selecting professional learning.

The HQPL cycle outlines the conditions to be considered.

Instructional rounds

On instructional rounds, a group of leaders and/or teachers visit multiple classrooms at their own or another school with the aim to spread quality practice, and support scaling systemic improvements of teaching and learning.

HQPL cycle stage 1 - Identify professional learning need

Before teachers select their professional learning, they need to consider what their learning need is, how it aligns with site/school improvement goals and processes and the type of support that they would require.

To enable this, it’s important that staff are engaged in regular performance and development conversations.

Find out more about coaching

Coaching is an important professional learning strategy that supports professional growth.

Coaching can address a range of characteristics and developmental needs that contribute to the effectiveness of a teacher.

HQPL cycle stage 4 – Evaluate overall impact

Effective evaluation involves teachers and leaders monitoring the impact of professional learning on: teaching practice, learner outcomes and whole-school/service measures.

To enable this, it’s important that staff are encouraged to share their professional learning experiences with one another, especially those with high positive impact.

Building a culture of professional growth

School leaders have a critical role to play in building a positive professional growth culture. This culture should encourage an improvement-focused mindset, rather than a punitive or compliance culture.

Find out more about building a professional growth culture, planning for professional learning, evaluating success and more with our professional growth resources.

Teacher Self-Assessment Tool

The Teacher Self-Assessment Tool (Teacher SAT) is an online questionnaire that helps teachers locate their practice against the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.

The tool is free to use, and provide users with an indicative career stage for each of the 37 focus areas of the Standards, as well as supporting resources. The questionnaire takes around 25 minutes to complete.

further info 2/8
  • A Data-Driven, Holistic Approach to Professional Learning St. Joseph's Primary School, ACT
  • Focused Professional Learning for Measuring Impact Narrabeen Sports High School, NSW
  • Comprehensive Approach to Collaborative Professional Learning Calvary Lutheran Primary School, SA
  • Learning Together: A Whole School Focus for Professional Learning Anula Primary School, NT

 

Standards-aligned learning

Illustration of Practice, with focus area 5.1. Recommended for Proficient teachers.
Australian Professional Standards for Teachers

Illustrations of Practice

Short videos that demonstrate the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers in action, across a range of contexts and career stages. Analyse other teachers' practice, reflect on your own, or share and discuss with colleagues.
Two teachers discuss in front of a whiteboard. The teacher on the left is holding a whiteboard marker. The other teacher is holding a stack of papers that both of them are referring to.
Graduate career stage

My Induction app

Access expert advice and engage in activities to help your development at the start of your teaching career.
AITSL_060
Standard 4

Student Wellbeing Hub

The Student Wellbeing Hub contains free, self-paced and certificated professional learning courses on a range of key topics for schools. The Student Wellbeing Hub has been developed by Education Services Australia (ESA) for the Australian Government Department of Education.
AITSL_105
Standard 5

Feedback resources

Discover evidence-based approaches to assessing your students' learning, and providing feedback for improvement. Learn how you and your colleagues can implement new strategies across your school.
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Focus areas 1.4 and 2.4

Narragunnawali

Use Narragunnawali’s professional learning resources to build staff awareness and understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures, and contributions, and to support the implementation of reconciliation initiatives.

Professional learning approaches

Two primary school teachers in a brightly decorated classroom.
Resource collection

Coaching

Coaching can address a range of characteristics and developmental needs that contribute to the effectiveness of a teacher.
Four teachers smiling in front of a noticeboard that has posters and other decorations.
Resource collection

Classroom observation

Observing classroom practice makes teaching and learning more visible. It encourages collaboration between colleagues and helps improve teacher practice – which is great for student learning.

Evidence base

2018 Findings report

Exploring the opportunities and challenges of teacher professional learning in the early childhood, casual/relief and rural/remote teaching contexts

2017 Summary findings report

Uncovering the current state of professional learning for teachers

Learn more about enabling professional learning

The importance and characteristics of high quality professional learning

Find out more about what a high quality professional learning culture and effective professional learning look like with the Australian Charter for the Professional Learning of Teachers and School Leaders.

Whole-school performance and development culture

The Australian Teacher Performance and Development Framework highlights what is required to build a successful professional growth culture, and implement the essential elements of an effective performance and development approach.
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