Centre for Educational Multimedia

Professional Learning

School organisation

Professional learning was sustained by the unique way in which the school was organised into interconnected teams coupled with a "non-negotiable" expectation that ICT was incorporated in all classes.

Look, there were a number of non-negotiables ... One of the non-negotiables was that every class needed to get out into our local community and do something with them. Every single teaching class. One of the non-negotiables was that you need to incorporate ICT in your teaching and learning program and the support is there for you to do that. And because of the way the school is structured, with its teams within teams and breakdown to another team, so our school is structured as a whole staff, junior school and senior school staff and then within your junior school, for example, your Grade 7 staff and your Grade 8 staff, we knew that within each of those 7, 8, 9, 10 teams there was, for want of a better word call it an expert in the various disciplines and you had somebody with ICT knowledge in there to help you as well. (Teacher, Reece High School )

The assistant principal of the school felt that the flexible school structure allowed the management team to provide all teachers with the most appropriate challenge and supports whether it is giving a teacher a leadership role or having someone work alongside them.

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So for some people it might be giving them if they’re the capable people some sort of leadership role which gives them the motivation to actually share what they know and to add to the school community. (Assistant Principal, Reece High School)

This is further highlighted when the principal explained that considerable effort is invested in ensuring synergy between team members:

The teams are organised - people give me and the leadership team an indicator of where they'd like to be and why they'd like to be there, just as kids do, as to what they want to do. Then what we do is we look at the combination of skills and see whether it's the best fit. If it's not then I would go back to you, [as a teacher], and I'd say: well, look, I really need someone with this expertise on that team, how do you feel about being on that team rather than - and so we negotiate our way through. (Principal, Reece High School )

The organisation of the school into carefully shaped teams coupled with careful timetabling and a trans-disciplinary focus was felt to support the integration of ICT across the school. In this quote the teacher was asked how ICT was disseminated across the school:

It can be done quite easily because of the meeting structure of the teams themselves because the teams meet regularly and they've got a specific meeting time. And because of the timetable in the school and that all Grade 7 principal teachers will be off together, then they can meet during the day and those types of resources can be shared. Also during the year we have a number of sharing sessions and professional learning time at the end of the school day. So staff are invited to share their findings or what they've developed with the staff. (Teacher, Reece High School )