In this last section, we will re-cap on the key resources available for professional learning, and think about your plans for your future development.
Over the five topics within the professional learning pack, you will have noticed that Learning Wales has been mentioned regularly, and it is your best starting point for professional learning in education in Wales. It is also an excellent source of information on many specific aspects of learning and teaching, as well as Welsh Government education policy.
Hwb (external link) is another key resource, and an important source of materials for teaching and learning. Hwb+ will provide further functionality including Hwbmeets - channels for communication and collaboration. You may also find information in professional learning on sites that focus mainly on learning and teaching resources, for example, TES Connect (external link) and WJEC (external link).
Activity 5.3.1 summarises key resources to support your professional learning, along with links to the resources.
The interactive image in this activity shows some of the key resources that support professional learning in education in Wales. Click on the text to visit the relevant website; you may need to use the ‘search’ facility to find exactly what you need.
It is important that you evaluate the professional learning that you undertake, and check that the learning you have experienced supports the professional standards.
How best can you evaluate your learning and your progress as a practitioner? Your line manager will be able to make recommendations about this, but ultimately, you should be able to gauge the effectiveness of your professional learning, and your practice, by the impact you have on your learners. There are several ways in which this might be done.
- Note results of tests and examinations over time.
- Examine school data on attendance or achievement.
- Use a journal or log to note engagement and behaviour over time.
- Ask your line manager or other colleagues to observe your teaching.
- Use surveys or other appropriate tools to obtain learner feedback.
You should aim to discuss ways of assessing impact with your line manager, mentor, or Head of Department, so that you can decide on strategies that work best for you and your context.
In Activity 5.3.2 you will find an evaluation tool based on practitioner standards which will help you to measure the impact of you professional learning to date, and to help identify further training needs.
Self-evaluation exercise based on professional standards
Enter any development activities or other forms of professional learning undertaken (with a date) alongside the appropriate standard(s). At the appropriate time, record the impact of this professional learning on your learners (text boxes will expand as you write so that you can add appropriate detail). Note that the data you enter will not be automatically saved, so you should save as a Word doc and subsequently add information to your saved copy. This record should form a useful piece of evidence for your professional learning journey.
We end this topic, and this learning pack, by asking you a key question: what will you do next? The record you have produced in Activity 5.3.2 should help you decide this, and the notes you made in Activity 5.1.2 should help you think about specific areas in which you need further guidance. It is now up to you to prioritize.
You may be quite clear about the professional learning that is most relevant for you at this point, but if you are still in doubt, think about your learners: what will have the greatest positive impact on them? A further prompt is provided in the figure below which we first encountered in Topic 1, and which is based on the PLM. What do the questions in this figure mean for you?