MIS has made a commitment to supporting staff professional development that seeks to find balance between externally provided conferences and workshops and opportunities for our teachers to consider research and theory directly, and the evaluation of their practice and work with their colleagues for mutual assistance and benefit.
We seek to place the experience gained from externally provided conferences and workshops into the broader context as we consider the combined influence on teaching practice of professional development, leadership and curriculum (Reeves, 2008). We consider these experiences as ‘catalyst’ opportunities: how does this style of professional development align with our academic priorities and how can we leverage the learning gained to influence MIS as an organisation, rather than retain the focus on the development of each individual?
Within this learning community model, our work has also been affirmed by the research clearly indicating that other teachers is a more influential factor on teachers’ professional practices than other ‘presumed influences’ and that ‘direct observation of the professional practices of teachers by teachers must become the new foundation of professional development.’ (Reeves, 2008, 3)
We provide significant learning opportunities for our faculty and staff through our emphasis on professional learning. We support the staff in attending workshops and conferences off site as well as providing numerous opportunities for teacher facilitated learning on campus.
We are excited by what we have already achieved and even more excited by the possibilities ahead of us.