Goodbye Professional Development. Hello Professional Learning!

We are all agreed on one thing: Learning is imperative for growth.

As Educators, You embrace this mantra for students.

So while there is a deep awareness about customizing Teaching Techniques based on multiple student learning styles and intelligences’, learning for teachers was and often still is, a case of a homogeneous, one-size-fits-all approach.

The quintessential format of Professional Development involves:

  1.  Group Workshops
  2.  Generic Observations
  3.  Learning Support groups

Professional Development is largely focused on achieving training goals of the School itself. But not necessarily translated into practice, or monitored for impact, if it is.

Introducing, Professional Learning:

The new-age avatar of Professional Development is all about brewing your own Learning.

It consists of:

  1. Personalized Learning Goals
  2. Relevance of material
  3. Practical usage


Learning cycle


Teacher Education



Professional Learning: Global Reflections

Finland flagFinland: The intensive approach

The Finnish education system is considered to be a leader in innovation for Teacher Development. The success of the Finnish teacher training program is attributed to its focus on intensive research. The teachers are required to undergo the Bologna training cycle which requires that prospective teachers must undergo a bachelors and masters coursework. All through the coursework, theory and practice are given equal importance. These are split into three broader sections:
• Orientation
• Intermediate Practicum
• Advanced Practicum

This is followed by intensive supervision by experienced faculty members at the University teacher training schools and local partner schools. What makes the process unique is the joint participation of students and teachers in research projects and seminars to promote critical thinking.

This ultimately helps prospective teachers gain critical insight into real-life classrooms and student behaviour and how to implement their own classroom learning techniques.


USA flagCalifornia, USA: The experiential approach

While the entire country does not exemplify an ideal environment for Teachers, the state of California is an outlier.
California Commission on Teacher Credentialing has incorporated classroom management as the newest aspect of its teacher training programs. Teachers are now required to demonstrate the behaviour management approaches they learnt of during their pre-service training while handling real classrooms.

As an additional measure, a 3-step process is being imparted to check on the trainee teachers’ competence in classroom management through:
• Candidate surveys
• Mentor Teacher surveys
• School-site leader surveys

The state has begun implementing this to ensure that positive classroom climate is maintained and that restorative justice is being taken care of. The focus is on post-training classroom outcome.


India FlagIndia
India is a late riser in the Global Teacher Development movement. It has recently launched the Samagra Shiksha program for school education which also takes into account the previous teacher training program implemented by the Govt. But India is the land of polarities, and therefore, the state of Training in Public and Private Schools differs vastly.
In a bid to keep up with Global standards for Teaching and Learning, Private schools in India are now largely looking at Alternative Teacher certification offered by prestigious Global Training entities. “While the awakening to the need for highly credible Professional Learning for teachers is relatively nascent, Indian schools are embracing our program. This clearly shows the urgent need for Globally etched and locally adopted learning opportunities for Indian teachers“, says Ann George, India Head for UCLA Extension’s Global Counseling Certification.



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