The most valuable professional development is embedded in the on-going life of the school." For the Love of Learning, Royal Commission on Learning, Vol. III, p. 35. (1995)
Professional Learning models refer to the wide range of approaches that are used to engage educational professionals in learning. These learning models are not one size fits all, but rather are varied and cater to the diverse needs of those partaking in the learning. Goals, context and content influence the professional learning design and implementation.
As a leader in education, Ontario is at the forefront of innovation in education. This requires thoughtful, planned and deliberate professional learning design.
A resource to learn more about the wide range of professional learning in Ontario is :Ontario College of Teachers- Professional Learning Framework for the Teaching Profession.
"Communities of practice and inquiry enhance professional learning" Ontario College of Teachers 2016
Key Questions to consider when thinking about professional learning
"The goal of professional learning is the ongoing enhancement of practice. Educator learning is directly correlated to student learning" Ontario College of Teacher 2016
Collaborative Professional Inquiry
Collaborative Professional Inquiry is also known as inquiry-based professional learning, or collaborative teacher inquiry; and can take many forms.The Ministry's Capacity Building Series provides a number of resources to support this:
Co-teaching is an informal professional learning arrangement in which teachers with varied knowledge, skills and talents agreed to share responsibility for designing, implementing, monitoring and/or assessing a curricular program for a class of students on a regular basis (e.g., biweekly, monthly, or per term). Co-teaching is a relatively new term but appears in the work of such authors as Vance Austin. The purpose of co-teaching is to enable groups of teachers to improve their instruction and their understanding of students’ thinking and learning through shared observation and analysis of student work. Co-teaching makes it possible for teachers to engage in teaching as collaborative problem-solving (from Improving Student Achievement in Literacy and Numeracy : Job-embedded Professional Learning).
Professional Learning Communities (PLC)
Professional Learning Communities have been used extensively in Ontario for a number of years. The focus of the PLC is the coming together of educators to learn.The Ministry's Capacity Building Series provides a number of resources to support this:
While some may think of mentorship as only applicable to beginning educators, growing research is highlighting the value of mentorship at all levels as a powerful professional learning model. In Ontario, the New Teacher Induction Program has developed resources to help support this model of professional learning.
Coaching is a relationship established between two parties to meet a particular learning goal. Coaching involves teachers in processes in which they collaborate, refine, reflect, conduct research, expand on ideas, build skills and knowledge, and problem solve in order to improve student learning and achievement. Coaching needs to be non-evaluative and builds upon a foundation of mutual respect. The teacher and the coach are partners in supporting student learning. (from Improving Student Achievement in Literacy and Numeracy : Job-embedded Professional Learning)
Virtual Professional Learning
The e-Community Ontario website is an exciting collaborative environment for Ontario educators, where they can communicate and share insights on a variety of professional learning topics with colleagues across the province. Educators participating in e-Community Ontario can:
Districts in Ontario are using a wide range of professional learning models to increase the depth and breadth of knowledge of Ontario educators. There is no one size fits all professional learning model but multiple approaches to consider. Below are some examples from districts of models of professional learning they are using.
Example of Collaborative Professionalism in Action at Gordon Graydon Senior Public SchoolCollaborative Inquiry in Action - Gordon Graydon Senior Public School
We will continue to share examples of professional learning in action. Please check back for updates