Life Cycle of Teacher Professional Learning

Embarking on a journey of learning and growth involves building a solid foundation of knowledge and understanding. In the initial phase, one must gather information from diverse sources and explore different perspectives to establish a comprehensive knowledge base. Scrutinizing existing models and examples within the chosen field helps deepen comprehension and provides insights into best practices and innovative thinking. Engaging in self-reflection allows individuals to critically evaluate their own practices, identify areas for improvement, and foster personal and professional growth. Armed with new knowledge and self-awareness, individuals can refine their approach, continuously improving their methods and problem-solving techniques. Finally, gaining and spreading expertise becomes a lifelong pursuit, involving continuous education, research, collaboration, and active contribution to the growth of the field. By embracing these principles, individuals can embark on a transformative journey of learning, development, and collective advancement.

  1. Building a Knowledge Base: In the initial phase of any learning process, the goal is to acquire new knowledge and information and develop a strong understanding of the concepts involved. This involves gathering relevant and up-to-date information from various sources such as books, research papers, online articles, and experts in the field. By immersing oneself in the subject matter and exploring different perspectives, one can build a comprehensive knowledge base that forms the foundation for further learning and growth.
  2. Scrutinising Models and Examples: To enhance learning and deepen understanding, it is important to examine existing models and examples within the chosen field of study. This involves closely analyzing and studying successful models, theories, and practical examples that have been developed by experts or practitioners. By dissecting these models and examples, one can gain valuable insights and learn from the experiences and expertise of others. This process helps to identify best practices, understand potential pitfalls, and inspire innovative thinking.
  3. Engaging in Self-Reflection: Self-reflection is a crucial component of the learning process as it allows individuals to critically evaluate their own practices and experiences. By setting aside dedicated time for introspection and contemplation, individuals can gain a deeper understanding of their strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement. Through self-reflection, one can identify patterns, assess the effectiveness of their approaches, and gain insights into personal growth and development. This reflective practice fosters self-awareness, encourages continuous learning, and promotes personal and professional growth.
  4. Refining Your Approach: Armed with new knowledge, insights from existing models, and a better understanding of one’s own practices, it is essential to refine and optimize one’s approach. This involves tweaking and fine-tuning the methods and strategies employed in light of the gained knowledge and insights. By critically evaluating and analyzing the effectiveness of different approaches, individuals can make informed decisions on how to improve their processes, workflows, and problem-solving techniques. This iterative refinement process ensures continuous improvement and maximizes the chances of success.
  5. Gaining and Spreading Expertise: Learning should be a lifelong pursuit, and expanding expertise is an ongoing process. To become an expert in a particular domain, individuals must consistently broaden their knowledge, skills, and understanding of the subject matter. This can be achieved through various means such as attending workshops, conferences, and training programs, engaging in continuous education, conducting research, and collaborating with other experts. Furthermore, it is important to share and disseminate this expertise with others by teaching, mentoring, writing, or participating in knowledge-sharing platforms. By actively spreading expertise, individuals contribute to the growth of the field and foster a culture of collective learning and improvement.

These essential elements for the pursuit of continuous learning and personal growth should be at the forefront of leaders planning. By immersing ourselves in the subject matter, analysing existing knowledge, critically evaluating our own practices, and actively seeking improvement, we lay the groundwork for success. This process not only enriches our understanding but also enables us to contribute to the broader community by sharing our expertise and fostering a culture of collective learning. Ultimately, the essence of this blog lies in the transformative power of knowledge, self-reflection, and the commitment to ongoing development, propelling us towards a future of continuous growth and improvement.

Author: Dr Jake Madden

Jake Madden (Dip Teach; B.Ed; Grad Dip: Leadership; M. Ed: Leadership; EdD; FACEL; MACE) Dr. Jake Madden is currently the Principal, St Edward’s Primary School, Tamworth. He has enjoyed a successful teaching and principal leadership career over the last thirty years building teacher capacity through the development of learning in the contemporary world, the promotion of flexible learning spaces to meet the needs of the 21st century learner and curriculum for global mindedness. Jake is a leader in the notion of teacher-as-researcher and is widely published in this area, authoring and co-authoring books and a number of journal articles showcasing his experiences and research into leading educational change.

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