Professional Learning

Next Steps Initiative has initiated a comprehensive resource development process to support school educators to introduce and embed instructional reform processes related to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education.

some questions are listed:

  • What is a Professional Development package?
  • What are the Professional Development packages?
  • What are the educational benefits of these packages?

What is a Professional Development package?

A Professional Development package is a self-contained resource that educators and/or community members can use to develop knowledge, understanding and skills in an area of need related to the education of Aboriginal students and Torres Strait Islander students.


What are the Professional Development packages?

  • Orientation Packages: Packages that introduce educators to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, beliefs, protocols and processes of engagement.
  • School-based Packages: Packages developed by schools to meet a local need that will ultimately improve outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.
  • Professional Learning Packages include packages based on:
    • academic research which support local educational reform
    • the Australian Curriculum which support engagement with the priority Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Histories and Culture, and learning area curricula
    • literacy and numeracy development.

What are the educational benefits of these packages?

System:

  • Packages can be shared across the existing national network and potentially into all schools and communities. The sharing of resources within and across systems reduces ongoing expenditure at the systemic and school level, and most importantly provides ideas and ready-made professional development that systems and schools can use for their own purposes.
  • Packages are developed in response to, and feature research related to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education.
  • Packages focus on Australian Curriculum and other educational priorities.
  • Package development also provides systems with potential facilitators and presenters as resources for professional learning.

School:

  • Educators within a school participate in a high-level engagement process that leads to high-quality professional development and reform that will ultimately improve outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.
  • Educators participate in a multi-phase program that stimulates professional conversations about school-based reform.
  • Educators are ‘strongly encouraged’ to create the packages with the local Indigenous community which increases the likelihood of sustainability and effectiveness.
  • Educators are ‘strongly encouraged’ to establish a local Indigenous Education Reference Group with members of the local Indigenous community, so that future packages and reform processes can be discussed collaboratively.
  • Educators receive packages that relate to national educational and Indigenous priorities.
  • Engagement with the development of Learning Community packages provides templates and processes for ongoing work.
  • Locally contextualized packages address the significant Australian issue of ‘within school’ variance in quality education.

Community:

  • Packages can be developed that have a community development focus that have both an inside and outside the school-fence orientation
  • All packages are to be developed with community involvement throughout. The emphasis should be on ‘asking’ the community, not ‘telling’ the community.
  • Packages provide meaningful engagement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the education process.
  • The sign-off processes for packages and plans addresses the need for significant improvement of the authentic involvement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in governance and decision-making.

Students:

  • Packages can be developed with the input of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.
  • All packages are to ultimately support improved outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.