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Beyond effective approaches: a rapid review response to designing professional learning


Cirkony, C and Rickinson, M and Walsh, L and Gleeson, J and Salisbury, M and Cutler, B and Berry, M and Smith, K, Beyond effective approaches: a rapid review response to designing professional learning, Professional Development in Education pp. 1-22. ISSN 1941-5257 (2021) [Refereed Article]

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© 2021 International Professional Development Association (IPDA)

DOI: doi:10.1080/19415257.2021.1973075


Professional learning (PL) in education is thought to be a key mechanism for improving classroom instruction and student achievement. Yet despite decades of research into PL, the impact of this investment is not well understood, with reports of limited change in both research and practice. As part of a large-scale investigation focusing on practitioner use of evidence in education, the authors undertook a rapid review to understand what is known about effective PL for K-12 school-based educators. Based on analysis and synthesis of 12 included studies, the review identified eight features of effective PL: collaboration; active learning and reflection; content and pedagogy in context; sustained duration; coaching; external expertise; models and modelling; and, audience and alignment. It also highlighted additional considerations for effective PL, including workplace conditions, PL providers, and online and blended approaches. This paper argues that though there is a consensus around effective PL features, there is a need to go beyond ‘effective approaches’ and consider the broader conditions and methodological limitations that impact improved and sustained change. Overall, this paper has implications for understanding the research landscape around effective PL, and applying an evidence-informed approach to designing PL programmes.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:professional learning, professional development, in-service teacher education, professional continuing education, rapid review, systematic review
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Education systems
Research Field:Teacher education and professional development of educators
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Learner and learning
Objective Field:Professional development and adult education
UTAS Author:Cirkony, C (Dr Connie Cirkony)
ID Code:153732
Year Published:2021
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2022-10-04
Last Modified:2022-11-08

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