Thesis statement: Professional learning within highly innovative educational contexts and focused on school-based teacher professional learning communities (PLCs) is increasingly being utilised in supporting teachers in refining their skills as facilitators and co-learners with their students. While various researchers (Bolam et al, 2005; Coburg & Russell, 2008; Scott et al, 2011) outline the characteristics of teacher PLCs, there is a gap in the research about the specific learning experiences and processes involved in building relevant skills such as effective facilitation, constructive questioning, constructing assessment rubrics and using gaming and other ICT within curriculum planning processes. The current research focuses on teacher specific learning experiences and skill-building processes relevant to significantly innovative schooling contexts.
Methodology: A mixed methods approach is used involving teacher and leader interviews and school documents and surveys within three case study schools associated with an OECD innovative learning environment project.
Results: Results indicate significant learning within the day-to-day collaborative work, with specific examples of teacher learning and changes in practices occurring through observations, co-planning, co-teaching, co-assessing and co-reflection.
Conclusion: There are implications for policy in regard to skilling leaders in actively nurturing PLCs through provision of time, establishing shared values about teacher learning and guarding against insularity through effectively connecting with other learning opportunities.
|Keywords:||Theme: Adult, Community, and Professional Learning, Professional Learning, Innovative Schooling|
Adjunct Senior Research Fellow, Education Arts and Social Sciences, DECD, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia