Teachers and school leaders are responsible for the impact of professional learning on student progress and achievement
Teachers and school leaders evaluate how adjustments in their practice following professional learning impact on student progress and achievement, regularly recalibrating and refining to ensure ongoing progress and achievement for students
Continuous teacher improvement requires the ongoing evaluation of professional learning on teaching practice and subsequent student learning progress.
At a classroom level, teachers analyse student data to track the impact of new practices developed through professional learning on student progress.
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HIPL element 5: Teachers and school leaders are responsible for the impact of professional learning on student progress and achievement
In HIPL-enabled schools, teachers and school leaders take responsibility for the impact of professional learning on student progress and achievement. For teachers, this means knowing when and if professional learning has made a difference. It requires teachers to plan for how they will evaluate the impact of adjustments to their teaching practice on their students’ learning, and continuously strengthening this evaluation to inform their own future professional learning needs.
School leaders also need to understand the impact of professional learning, and use this information to inform the direction of future professional learning at the school level. This is achieved by establishing a strong culture of shared responsibility and using systematic processes to gather evidence on the impact of professional learning on teaching practice and student progress and make ongoing adjustments.
Professional learning from the department embeds mechanisms for teachers to apply new strategies, providing teachers with opportunities to evaluate the impact on student learning. It uses professional learning evaluation data to inform the ongoing improvement of future professional learning design.
In HIPL-enabled schools, student progress and achievement is enhanced through an ongoing whole-school commitment to continually improve and measure adjustments in teaching practice through High Impact Professional Learning practice that is driven by teacher and student need.
Why it matters
In schools where there is a culture of continuous improvement, teachers and school leaders measure the impact of professional learning on student progress. This requires planning and articulation of processes to measure student learning following professional learning.
It is important to use a range of data sources to appropriately establish professional learning needs, and to understand the impact of professional learning on teaching practice and resultant student learning outcomes. This includes the use of both quantitative system data (such as HSC and NAPLAN) and qualitative data (such as analysis of student work samples). Understanding the impact of professional learning on teacher understanding and teaching practice is a critical first step. This may involve structured teacher reflection, teacher surveys or focus groups, analysis of lesson plans and programs and lesson observations. This can be followed by an evaluation of the impact of student learning through work sample and results analysis. It is important to understand that the impact of professional learning on teaching practice then subsequent student learning is not an immediate process – it requires planned commitment over the short, medium and long term.
Plan how you will assess how your professional learning is making a difference to teaching practice and resultant student learning.
Consider working with colleagues to strengthen your evaluation of your professional learning to better understand the impact on your teaching practice.
Use the evaluation of previous professional learning to help determine your future professional needs.
Establish a strong culture of shared accountability within the school, where staff collectively try to understand what has worked well and what hasn’t, to inform ongoing improvements to teacher professional learning.
Develop systematic processes that identify and address the gaps between teaching expertise and student needs to ensure ongoing improvement to professional learning.
Illustrations of practice
This example is drawn from NSW public schools and illustrate effective practice in High Impact Professional Learning.
A review of professional learning practice at Strathfield Girls High School showed the impact of professional learning being evaluated through multiple qualitative and quantitative data sources, including student and staff feedback, classroom observations and videos of teaching practice. The school has a strong focus on assessment as a vehicle for improved student learning, with evidence guides and structures in place to identify need and demonstrate the impact of professional learning on teaching practice and student progress. This shared focus on assessment is exemplified through professional learning processes such as collaborative marking, benchmarking and mapping of student progress which foster shared accountability among teachers and inform challenging professional discussion about strengths and areas for improvement. This, in turn, informs future professional learning.
Read the research on teacher professional learning: Measuring impact
Mimosa Public School has implemented a data wall to track their shared responsibility and accountability for student progress and achievement which informs the decisions made in terms of teaching and learning programs and changes. (Page 36)
The Ponds School, a school for specific purpose, strategically uses and triangulates data collected from students across diverse sources to monitor student achievement as well as identify areas where students require further support. (Page 20)