Teachers

Advice for teachers to support professional learning planning in a High Impact Professional Learning (HIPL) environment.

What does HIPL mean for me?

Through a HIPL approach, teachers use broad sources of evidence of student learning to understand how well their students are progressing, identify their students’ needs and engage in evidence-based professional learning, where required, to strengthen their teaching practice further. Teachers then apply modified and/or new practices in the classroom and measure the impact of this new learning on student progress and achievement over time.

For more information on how you can use a broad range of data to check and understand where your students are in their learning and to support what to do next, read the practical strategies for using data to inform practice page on the What Works Best 2020 update website.

How can I identify professional learning which is high impact?

The Performance and Development Framework describes an annual three-phase process where teachers plan, implement and review their Performance and Development Plan (PDP) to achieve their professional goals.

The steps below provide suggestions that can be used to inform conversations and decisions about professional learning in the first two phases of the performance and development process within a HIPL context. The steps can also assist teachers to gather evidence to support accreditation requirements across a number of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.

Effective teachers know their students well and how to teach them.

You may like to consider using The School Excellence Framework evidence guide to help identify where your students are now. This guide lists possible sources of evidence that you could use to inform your professional learning.

Look for patterns and trends in student progress and consider the accuracy and appropriateness of the data. Depending on your school context, consider how your student data compares to data from other students from the same cohort and statistically similar schools. You may find it helpful to discuss your findings within a collaborative group of colleagues or with a supervisor, coach or mentor.

To learn more, access Using data with confidence professional learning from CESE.

Evidence of this process may demonstrate how a teacher’s practice meets the following Australian Professional Standards for Teachers:

  • 5.1 Assess student learning

  • 5.3 Make consistent and comparable judgements

  • 5.4 Interpret student data

Effective teachers continually reflect on and improve their practice.

A clear picture of the knowledge and skills your students need to develop will assist in informing your reflection on your own teaching practice to consider the capabilities you may need to develop further to more effectively meet their needs.

You may like to revisit the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers to consider your professional strengths and areas for development across the standards. The What Works Best reflection guide also provides advice to enable school staff to reflect on what’s working in their classrooms and what can be enhanced.

To help identify your areas for professional development within a HIPL environment, you can seek feedback about your teaching practice through existing school structures that support professional dialogue. This may include, for example, the Performance and Development Framework processes.

To deepen your understanding of potential areas for growth in your practice, you might also share challenges of practice and teaching challenges with colleagues through informal discussions, coaching or mentoring sessions, beginning teacher support processes, or by reflecting on previous PDPs.

Evidence of this process may demonstrate how your practice meets the following Australian Professional Standards for Teachers:

  • 6.1 Identify and plan professional learning needs

  • 6.2 Engage in professional learning and improve practice

  • 6.3 Engage with colleagues and improve practice

  • 6.4 Apply professional learning and improve student learning


 

Consider how your findings from Steps 1 and 2 could enhance and support initial conversations with your supervisor during the Plan phase of the PDP cycle. These findings may inform your PDP goals.

Working with your supervisor to explore available professional learning activities that could contribute towards your relevant PDP goals can assist the alignment with individual, school or system priorities. You might consider who else in the school (or in your school network) has similar professional learning needs and may be appropriate to collaborate with.

Where new knowledge is required, work with your school leaders to identify knowledgeable experts that may be called upon. This may include:

  • Use the Priority Professional Learning Selector to access high quality professional learning from the department.

  • Teachers and school leaders within the school with relevant expertise. For example, LAST, EAL/D teacher, Highly Accomplished and Lead Teachers.

Evidence of this process may demonstrate how a teacher’s practice meets the following Australian Professional Standards for Teachers:

  • 6.1 Identify and plan professional learning needs.

Prepare for new learning by gathering and annotating evidence of your students’ learning that may form the stimulus for discussion in collaborative professional learning sessions.

Whether you are engaging in formal or informal professional learning, input from specialists will help ensure that you are challenged, and leave you equipped with new, evidence-based skills and knowledge that you can apply to your teaching practice. This may include:

  • learning from specialists about new curriculum and evidence-informed teaching strategies (face to face and online learning).

  • feedback from peers and colleagues. These may be part of the PDP process, or other collaborative models focused on supporting you to deepen identified areas of teaching practice.

  • collaboratively reflecting on your practice with colleagues who provide quality feedback focused on evidence of student learning.

Following professional learning, it is important that you apply your new learning to your teaching practice, as relevant, and consider how you will evaluate the impact of this on your own development and students’ progress and achievement – both in the short and long term.

Evidence of this process may demonstrate how a teacher’s practice meets the following Australian Professional Standards for Teachers:

  • 6.2 Engage in professional learning and improve practice

  • 6.3 Engage with colleagues and improve practice

  • 6.4 Apply professional learning and improve student learning

Evaluative thinking is a core competency for teachers and forms part of their everyday work inside and outside of the classroom. Research shows that effective teachers use data and other evidence to constantly assess how well students are progressing in response to their lessons.

Assessment of the progress and achievement of your students following your application of new professional learning in the classroom will enable you to see, as well as measure, the impact and effectiveness of the professional learning on your teaching practice.

Being responsible for the impact of professional learning on our student’s learning requires asking a variety of reflective questions as part of the evaluative process. These questions may include:

  • Is there a notable improvement in student learning?

  • How do you know this improvement is related to your implemented new knowledge?

  • What insights do you have and how could you share these with your colleagues?

  • What constructive feedback can you take on board from colleagues to further improve professional knowledge, skills and practice?

  • How will this inform your future professional learning needs?

For more information on evaluative practice read 5 essentials for effective evaluation (CESE).

Evidence of this process may demonstrate how a teacher’s practice meets the following Australian Professional Standards for Teachers

  • 6.3 Engage with colleagues and improve practice

The evidence you collect on the impact of your professional learning could be used to demonstrate your progress toward your PDP goals.

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