Improving student outcomes through effective professional learning

Quality education promotes excellence in all young people, encouraging them to become well-rounded, successful learners who develop into confident and creative individuals, and active and informed adult citizens. Achieving this relies heavily on the quality of our teachers and school leaders. High quality professional learning is vital to improving the quality of teaching, and in turn, student learning outcomes.

As per the Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT), “...purposeful professional learning for teachers and school leaders is one of the most effective strategies for improving student outcomes in schools. The professional learning undertaken should vary to suit the context and priorities of teachers, schools and sectors, but the imperative to engage actively in high quality professional learning remains the same.”

Ongoing professional learning can be defined as formal or informal learning experiences undertaken by teachers and school leaders to enhance their individual professional practice. The success of teachers and schools can be measured by improved student learning, engagement with learning and overall student wellbeing.

In its Australian Charter for the Professional Learning of Teachers and School Leaders, the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) describes professional learning as a “shared responsibility and commitment that must be conducted at all levels of the education system.” – meaning teachers, school leaders, system leaders and policy makers.

Well worth a read, the Charter features three clear components:

  1. The importance of learning and improving professional knowledge, practice and engagement of teachers and school leaders to improve learner outcomes
  2. The expectation that teachers and school leaders actively engage in professional learning throughout their careers, and;
  3. A description of the characteristics of a high quality professional learning culture deliberately cultivated to ensure that teachers and educational leaders get the most from their commitments to professional learning.

Professional learning is considered most successful when it occurs within a culture where teachers and school leaders are active learners themselves - reflecting on and receiving feedback on pedagogical practices to improve student outcomes. At its most effective, professional learning helps develop individual and collective ability across the entire teaching profession to tackle current and future challenges. And whilst influencing culture and professional practices requires continual effort, the message is clear: the results are well worth it.

Continuity of effective professional learning through uncertain times

We’re here to support your professional learning journey to become the best HPE teacher you can be. Professional learning is most effective when it is relevant, collaborative and future-focused, supporting teachers to reflect on, question and consciously improve their pedagogical practice.

To ensure the real needs and requirements of Victorian teachers of health and physical education are being addressed, ACHPER Victoria sought collaborative input and feedback from practicing teachers through co-design and design thinking workshops - the outcomes of which have informed our latest range of professional learning opportunities.

Additionally, and with traditional face-to-face learning opportunities cancelled due to COVID-19 in some areas of Victoria, we have had to adapt the delivery of our professional learning to suit our changing environment, providing online and remote eLearn courses, webinars and digital resources designed to enhance the capabilities and capacity of primary and secondary HPE teachers throughout Victoria. All of which are available at discounted rates for ACHPER Victoria members.

If you have questions or seek further advice, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.