Teacher Learning and Effective Professional Development: How One School Implemented, Modified, Stretched, and Extended the Principles of Action Learning

Teacher Learning and Effective Professional Development: How One School Implemented, Modified, Stretched, and Extended the Principles of Action Learning

Bronwyn Mehorter (University of Wollongong, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2642-1.ch009
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Abstract

Action Learning has been and is regularly implemented within Australian schools as a platform for teacher professional development and professional learning. The following chapter reports on a decade-long association between one Australian government primary school, an Academic Partner and the process of Action Learning. Initially, Action Learning was implemented in 2005 in the form of a small-scale, more traditional Action Learning project; In 2009, Action Learning was then modified and stretched to involve the whole school's teaching, support and executive staff; In 2013, the principles of Action Learning were extended as the school executive and teaching staff began to take ownership over their own learning. This case study demonstrates that Action Learning can be implemented on a school-wide basis for the effective professional development of the whole school's teaching and executive staff. Recommendations are made for similar schools who are considering extending Action Learning across the whole school.
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Introduction

Action Learning is a process of learning that enables organisations to adapt to change (Revans, 2011). Action Learning has been accepted within educational and schooling contexts as a form of teacher professional development and professional learning. In Australia, Action Learning has been utilised both frequently and effectively as a platform for improving teacher knowledge, skills and understanding. The case study presented within this chapter highlights how the principles of Action Learning can be implemented, modified, stretched and extended as a way of enabling the effective professional development and improved learning of the whole school’s staff. The objectives of this chapter are to: emphasise that the aim of Action Learning is teacher learning, highlight Action Learning as a platform for effective professional development and discuss how Action Learning may be implemented and extended within other similar schools for the effective professional development of the whole school’s staff.

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