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CORE's approach to professional learning

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International evidence shows that effective professional learning and development needs to be long-term, in-depth, sustained and relevant to the learning needs and contexts of those involved.

Traditional models of professional learning have tended to rely on face-to-face meetings and workshops that are both costly and limited in their ability to achieve these critical success factors.

Cluster-based model

CORE Education has been developing, in conjunction with several clusters of schools around NZ, a model of PD that combines both face-to-face and online dimensions, and is provided over time and with multiple points of engagement to enable teachers and schools the opportunity to engage with the professional learning fully, and to embed changes in practice as a consequence.

Typically, these engagements will run for periods from a single term to a whole year, and are designed around specifically developed modules, within which there are various topics, activities and tasks etc.

The focus of these events is generally negotiated with the cluster to ensure they meet the specific local needs. Some are provided over longer periods of time (half to full year) for in-depth development, while others have a more focused, shorter-term (5-10 weeks) commitment.

Examples of the sorts of programmes provided to clusters to date:

Half to full-year programmes Five-ten-week programmes
  • Implementing the NZ Curriculum
  • Leading curriculum change and implementation
  • Leading eLearning in schools
  • Implementing eLearning programmes in schools
  • Action planning for eLearning
  • Cyber-citizenship and cyber-safety
  • Evaluating eLearning programmes
  • Supporting literacy and numeracy with eLearning

Individual participation in online courses

CORE also provides online courses targeting individuals wanting to develop their personal knowledge and skills in particular areas. These are provided online and generally last for a term (ten weeks). They are provided online and can be worked through independently or with a group. Some of the courses we have on offer include:

Skills and capability building focus Pedagogical and curriculum focus
  • Blogging for teachers
  • E-portfolios
  • Using Web 2.0 tools effectively
  • Principles and practices of online learning
  • Digital and cyber-citizenship
  • Digital story-telling and digital literacy

Face-to-face workshops

In addition, CORE staff facilitate workshops, particularly where these are planned as a part of a whole school strategic approach to professional learning and development. CORE facilitators can work with you to plan your in-school Teacher Only Days or cluster-based PD focus events to ensure they meet the needs of all staff and contribute to the objectives of your school’s strategic plan.

Comparison of professional learning models
  Blended cluster model Independent ‘course’ model Workshop model
Cost Low per school/participant High per participant Varies depending on need for teacher release, travel etc.
Key beneficiary Whole school or group within school, individual Individual Whole school or group within school, individual
Mode of provision Mix of face to face and synchronous and asynchronous online Synchronous and asynchronous online Face-to-face with some online support
Participation Available to all staff Available to individual participant Available to selected staff
Timing Mix of fixed and flexible timing Flexible Fixed time
Location Mix of fixed and flexible location Flexible Fixed location used
Duration Over an extended period of time Over an extended period of time Generally limited to the day(s) of the face-to-face event.
Focus Negotiated to meet local need Defined by the course Determined by the programme
Personalisation Multiple levels of engagement to cater for school and personal needs Multiple levels of engagement for individuals to meet personal needs Programme determines nature of participation
Content Online, multi-media, ‘re-windable” (available for future review & reflection) Online, multi-media, ‘re-windable” (available for future review & reflection) Presented in the workshop, some supporting print and online materials
Consequence Progress towards whole school strategic objectives Progress towards personal growth and development Some progress towards school/personal goals, needing follow-up