Professional Learning

Study awards and sabbaticals for 2015

Applications for 2014 study awards, sabbaticals and study support grants are now closed. Information on 2015 study awards, sabbaticals and study support grants will be available in late April 2014.

Link to TeachNZ website Study leave, study grants, study awards and sabbaticals


Curriculum Support materials

Link to PPTA webpage Curriculum support day resources

Group learning by teachers for teachers

Teacher inquiry took on a new flavour in several schools in Auckland and Nelson in 2013 thanks to the PPTA supported “teacher learning groups” initiative.

Groups of teachers across schools were given some funding and support to work together on an inquiry project over a two year period. The goal was to develop professional knowledge and collaboration, and connect teachers with the association in new ways.

In December the groups’ facilitators met to discuss the year and talk about what comes next. One of the themes of the discussion was how the groups provided freedom to explore in their teaching practice.

Sarah Johns from Nelson College for Girls and Gaye Bloomfield from Nayland College discussed the group they established to look at student engagement through e-learning.

“This isn’t about flipping the classroom,” (watching material online at home and applying lessons learned back at school) said Gaye, “It’s about blended learning”  (blending digital with paper learning).

Teachers made a commitment to add an e-learning element to a unit of work and return to the group to reflect on it. They met at least once a term to share their experiences and suggest new strategies.

“This learning group is unparalleled in the structure of the school,” Sarah said.

“This package doesn’t exist anywhere else in my professional life.”

As a result of the group’s work and the changes in practice the teachers are making, other teachers around them are showing an interest in their work.

Ormiston Senior College teacher Lex Davis, is working with a group of teachers from around Auckland on making the best use of the open-plan modern-learning environments (MLEs) that many schools are building.

Teacher Learning Groups

Teacher Learning Groups is a New Zealand Post Primary Teachers' Association / Te Wehengarua (PPTA) initiative being piloted in 2013.

TLG image from I&O 2012Following a review of the PPTA professional conference, Executive decided to support professional activities that are more teacher directed, locally connected, on-going and based on good evidence for what helps teachers to learn.

Download pdf Information about the Teacher Learning Groups and the facilitation role

TLG image from CSD days 2009

The reasons for PPTA establishing Teacher Learning Groups are to:

  • provide an opportunity for teachers to have funded, collaborative professional learning that is broader and more self-directed than much of what is currently available
  • connect PPTA with what  teachers care about "“ discussions about teaching and learning

TLG image from CSD days 2009The choice of the three facilitators will be made by PPTA based on:

  • The likely interest in their chosen topic
  • The relevance to secondary teachers of their proposed topic
  • The facilitator's professional credibility and aptitudes for the role.

Examples of the types of topic that could be explored by the groups include:

  • Teaching in open-plan modern learning environments
  • Use of a particular technology for enhancing student engagement and achievement
  • A cross/inter curricular inquiry
  • A focus on building safe and peaceful classrooms "“ e.g. a particular restorative practice approach

TLG image from I&O 2010

The purpose of each group is determined by the participants, but these are envisaged as encompassing methods and approaches such as:

  • Action research
  • Professional conversations
  • Book study groups
  • Subject or theme based inquiries

The groups will be funded for a small amount of teacher release (half-days) and some venue costs and catering.

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