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MEP learning pack

Masters in Educational Practice: Professional learning

5

The professional learning journey

5.1

An on going journey with several paths

Fig.5.1.1: Your professional learning journey
Fig.5.1.1: Your professional learning journey

In Topic 1 of this learning pack you learnt more about the Welsh Government’s ‘Qualified for life’ education improvement plan, and the professional learning model (PLM) for education practitioners in Wales, and you also started to reflect on your own professional learning journey. In Activity 1.2.4 in particular, you were prompted to respond to the question: ‘Where are you now?’ to help you think about your future learning as a practitioner. In Topics 2, 3 and 4 you discovered more about many important themes and activities that should help you on your journey, and in Topic 5 you plan your route. You will not all have the same development needs, and you may plan a very different route compared to your colleagues. Irrespective of where you are, you should strive to continue to learn and improve so that we maximize outcomes for learners. You should also ensure that you reflect regularly on your professional learning, and career progress, so that you never feel as if you are ‘stuck’ and are constantly moving forward. This will also help to make you more self-reliant, and though other colleagues and organisations will have an important role in supporting you, ultimately you need to take control, and be ‘self-sustaining.’

Activity 5.1.1 will help you think about the routes of professional learning most appropriate for you.

Activity 5.1.1

Watch the video of Jayne Edwards, Director of continuing professional learning and development at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD). Jayne outlines some of the key progression routes taken by practitioners in the 3 to 19 sector.

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  • Did you identify your current situation in Jayne’s discussion?
  • Did Jayne mention one or more roles that you could aspire to? What were they?

For some practitioners, progression along their chosen routes may involve obtaining specific training or qualifications. You can find out more about a wide range of career options and qualifications in education in Wales at Education Cymru (external link). Further detailed information relating to qualifications for teaching in Wales in a range of sectors can be found in this document [.pdf] (external link), with further details available from the Education Workforce Council (EWC) (external link). If you haven’t yet obtained a Masters-level qualification, you may wish to do so to consolidate on existing skills and augment progression. The Welsh Government is currently developing options for Masters-level study which are likely to be available in 2017. You may also wish to undertake training on optional aspects of your role, for example in health and safety, the Welsh Language or management and leadership (discussed in section 5.2).

At present you may not want to pursue formal development activities, but nonetheless, there may be several different types of professional learning that would be suitable for your current situation. One important step to help you decide your priorities is to re-visit the professional standards [.pdf]. You can use these to reflect on, and evaluate, the key aspects of your role including:

  • professional values and attributes
  • professional knowledge and understanding
  • planning and target setting
  • monitoring and assessment
  • teaching and managing learning.

It is important to periodically carry out a self-evaluation against the standards to ensure that your development is on track, and you can identify specific support that you may need at different times. Appraisals undertaken with your line manager should also relate to the professional standards, and should reinforce your own observations.

We will return to the standards in section 5.3 in the context of evaluation.

Activity 5.1.2 extends the points raised by Activity 5.1.1, and prompts you to think more specifically about professional learning activities that you may need to undertake to help you realise your particular aspirations.

Activity 5.1.2

Click on the appropriate progress level to indicate how much progress you have already made. You can then click on the right-hand box for each activity to be directed to specific sources of support within the learning pack. (Note that the completed table will not be saved on this website or used in any way, and if you wish to retain the information it is suggested that you print out the table).

You should also, note down exactly what you need to do more of, and/or need further guidance in. You might feel, for example, that you need coaching to help you implement strategies to improve behavior for learning in some of your classes. Alternatively, you may think that you could make more use of assessment for learning or technology to augment interactivity. We will return to your notes in section 5.3.

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Activity 5.1.2 provides links to many of the key development activities discussed in Topics 1 to 4. A further reminder of important themes you have encountered, along with appropriate links, is provided in Activity 5.1.3. This takes us back to the ‘Tube map’ image you first encountered in Topic 1, and you can interact with the different ‘halts’ on each line to take you to the relevant elements of professional learning from Topics 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Activity 5.1.3

 

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There are many other useful sources of support for your professional learning, and don’t forget that your own organisation is often the best and most convenient starting point. If you work within a school, your local consortium will also be able to provide a range of training and development options, and you should liaise with your line manager to find out more.

The four current regional consortia for schools in Wales are:

  • GwE: Anglesey to Flintshire
  • ERW (Education through Regional Working): Ceredigion to Neath-Port Talbot
  • Central South: Bridgend to Cardiff
  • South-East: Caerphilly to Newport.

You can find out more about regional consortia and the National model for regional working [.pdf] (external link).

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