Professional learning

Published: 04 Sep 2017
Professional development
Professional capability
Evaluation indicators
Improvement in Action Te Ahu Whakamua


“There is a lot of opportunity to have robust discussions.”

Professional learning reflects the approach that has been established for students. Learning is differentiated with multiple opportunities for engagement and structure in manageable steps.

This video was filmed at McAuley High School.

Key messages:

  • Professional learning is differentiated and flexible and teachers set their own pace
  • Faculties determine their own direction and report outcomes to senior management
  • Leaders and teachers work in cross curricula professional learning groups with those who have similar teaching as inquiry goals
  • Opportunities are created for ‘robust discussions‘ between staff


Things to think about:

  • How well do organisational processes support professional learning opportunities in your school?
  • What else might be considered?

The evaluation indicators this video illustrates

  • Domain 5: Professional capability and collective capacity 
    • Evaluation indicators
      • A strategic and coherent approach to human resource management builds professional capability and collective capacity
      • Organisational structures, processes and practices enable and sustain collaborative learning and decision making

This video is part of a series

This video is part of the series Improvement in Action Te Ahu Whakamua. We created this series to inspire schools with examples of success in action. These examples highlight the benefits of fulfilling the evaluation indicators we use to review schools.

The full video series can be found here.

Remote video URL

We know that some of those kids are going to move anyway, so might as well let-- just let them just go for it. So actually building that in and having that speed dating going on, I think, is a really valuable exercise for you.

Yeah, definitely.

So talk me through what you were feeling during the lesson and how you think it went today.

We decided to give teachers as much flexibility as we could in terms of our Professional Development Program. We are on a three-weekly cycle. So, for two weeks they meet as their faculty. They get to choose what their professional development is. And all we have asked, as a senior management team, is that we see the minutes of those professional development sessions.

The third week in the cycle they meet as a professional learning community, and those groups are cross-curricular groups with people that have similar Teaching as Inquiry goals as them. And so they use those sessions to start to unpack their appraisal cycle.

There's a lot of opportunity for staff to communicate with each other. There's a lot of opportunity to have robust discussions. And I think it's those robust discussions which allow us to move forward. Because, although we can agree to disagree on some things, that's how we get some of the really good, solid decisions made that we need to as a school.

But all the way along, we've allow our teachers to learn at their own pace just like with the students, so we also differentiate for the teachers. We allow some teachers to skyrocket ahead of everyone. And then other teachers, we know we need to put in a lot more support. So we're modeling what we're doing with the students all the way through the school.