Elements of good practice professional learning

It’s always good to confirm what we know about our own learning!   Although there is nothing new in this article, For PD, the days of one-and-done are dead and gone! (eSchool News, September 2017) it is a sensible summary of good practice and steers away from the one-session-fixes-all approach.  We know that approach does not work, and usually, we know what works for us.  Four best practices are suggested:

  • Collaborative learning
  • Creative engagement
  • Goals that feel important
  • Online access

Lloyd and Cochrane (2006) in their paper Celtic knots; interweaving the elements of effective teacher professional development in  ICT, suggest that effective professional learning relies on four elements, which are said to be interdependent:

  • Context – relevance and immediacy
  • Community – collaborations
  • Time – prolonged, ongoing and sustained and as well, just-in-time and providing adequate time
  • Personal growth – giving the learner opportunities for increasing knowledge, skills and understanding

There are definite correlations with the eSchool article.

Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership’s (AITSL) 2014 report Designing professional learning is aimed at producing the “how to” of professional learning.  The report provides guidance on designing professional learning that suits the context in which you are working, with an over-riding view that:

“Research has found that job-embedded professional learning is proving  to be more effective in improving teacher practice in schools than many of the ‘traditional’ external professional learning opportunities. This means a shift towards professional learning that is primarily school-based and focused on improving teacher practice, where schools become learning communities and professional learning is part of teachers’ everyday work. This change creates a need for a greater understanding and awareness of learning design.”


Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership. (2014) Designing professional learning. Vic: AITSL. Accessed from: https://www.aitsl.edu.au/docs/default-source/default-document-library/designing_professional_learning_report.pdf?sfvrsn=83c1ec3c_0

Drake, C. (2017). For PD, the days of one-and-done are dead and gone! eSchool News. Accessed from: https://www.eschoolnews.com/2017/09/21/pd-days-one-done-dead-gone/

Lloyd, M and Cochrane, J. (2006) Celtic knots: Interweaving the elements of effective teacher professional development in ICT. Australian Educational Computing 21(2), p.16. Accessed from:  http://acce.edu.au/sites/acce.edu.au/files/pj/journal/AEC%20Vol%2021%20No%202%202006%20Celtic%20knots-Interweaving%20the%20elements%20.pdf