Schools know that one-off workshops and external courses do not result in quality teacher professional development. For professional learning to actually improve teacher practice, it needs to be sustained over a long period of time, directly connected to daily teaching, collaborative, and focused on a specific student learning goal. Although many schools understand this in theory, it is difficult to actually design effective professional learning programs. Schools often implement professional learning communities or teacher observation programs, but find that they aren’t working to improve student learning. This session will present a summary of research on what makes effective professional learning, and show domestic and international case studies of what can go right and wrong with implementing this evidence in schools. There are three main lessons as takeaways for better professional learning: 1. Alignment of programs 2. Interaction between professional learning, curriculum, and assessment and 3. Leadership of professional learning.
Katie Roberts-Hull is a Manager at Learning First where she has co-authored multiple international reports on education policy focused evidence from high-performing systems. In addition to this research role, Katie also works with Australian education departments to develop better policy and strategy around teacher education and development. Katie began her career as a primary school teacher on the border of Mexico in the US . She has since worked in various roles within schools and policy organisations to improve quality and equity in education. She holds an MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School and an MBA from the Wharton School.