Professional learning

When principals create opportunities for teachers to work collaboratively and share evidence-informed practice with each other, everyone feels a collective responsibility for students' learning. 

Principals who take their own learning seriously and keep their own passion for learning alive act as important role models for their schools.

Professional learning and development funding

For information on applying for centrally allocated funding for your school, go to the Ministry of Education site:

Professional Learning and Development 

New Zealand articles and resources

Professional learning: leading culture

This excellent seven-page resource is useful as a discussion document for leadership teams who are inquiring into the structures and approaches they have for teacher professional learning and development.

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Teacher professional learning and development

by Helen Timperley

Helen Timperley reports on her research into what teacher professional learning needs to take into account to be effective for both teachers’ practice and students’ outcomes. She identifies 10 interrelated principles.

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Using evidence in the classroom for professional learning

by Helen Timperley

In this 10-page article Professor Helen Timperley shows how important it is to make the connections from students’ needs to teachers being able to identify those needs and then work on their practice to meet them.

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Leading inquiry at a teacher level: it’s all about mentorship

by Mike Fowler

This set article (2012) is described by NZCER chief researcher Rosemary Hipkins as “a well-grounded, practice-informed look at conditions that support teachers to be learners when they inquire into their practice. The importance of strong leadership is emphasised, with a focus on 'walking the talk' by being an active inquirer yourself”.

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New Zealand school stories

Student voice in professional inquiry

Students talking

In these videos students and teachers at Pakuranga College describe how being involved in professional inquiry together has made a difference to their experience of learning and teaching.

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Collaborative inquiry teams

Addington Primary School has established cross-level collaborative inquiry teams to drill down into teacher practice and build capacity. 

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The benefits of collaborative professional learning

by Susan Heeps and Silvia Insley


This paper reports the development of a professional learning community around introducing the teaching of Spanish at Pakuranga Intermediate School.

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Other resources

Teachers as learners

by Louise Stoll, Jan McKay and David Kember, and M. Cochrane-Smith and S. Lytle

This page summarises ideas from three classic articles on teacher learning by: Louise Stoll, 1999; Jan McKay and David Kember, 1997; and M. Cochrane-Smith and S. Lytle, 1999. 

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How friends can be critical as schools make essential changes

by Kathleen Cushman

This classic article uses a case study approach to explore the efficacy of critical friendship groups – within schools and between schools – as a professional development approach, in particular where school change is a focus.

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How do principals really improve schools?

by Rick Dufour and Mike Mattos

This article from Educational Leadership is set in a US context, but it has relevance for New Zealand schools who wish to establish professional learning communities (PLCs).

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