Effective professional learning

This module offers suggestions about ways that teachers can access to professional learning (in-house or external) that supports them to offer a classroom programme that enhances students’ social and emotional competencies.

Focus questions
  1. Did the “Effective professional learning” sub-aspect data suggest any next steps for your school?
  2. Do you have other school data about this area of school practice? What does this tell you?

Key ideas about providing effective professional learning opportunities

Providing opportunities for teachers to engage in professional learning is a key part of any self-review or school change process (such as the W@S self-review). Professional learning supports the development of shared understandings and effective pedagogical practice as well as a commitment to new approaches. 

Reflective question(s)

At this school, how do we support teachers to model the skills we want students to develop?


Ways of working could include

Designing effective professional learning (PL) sessions for teachers to self-review and develop new approaches to creating a safe and caring school climate. Ideas about effective processes can be found in the Teacher Professional Learning and Development: Best evidence synthesis (BES). These include:

  • the development of teacher learning communities
  • collective ownership and discussion of school data (e.g., school W@S data could be explored at staff sessions)
  • a focus on modelling of new approaches
  • the provision of opportunities for teacher co-construction of approaches
  • opportunities to engage in action research


Ensuring professional learning session include key areas of content such as:

  • A review of your school’s W@S SSRT responses and student data.
  • A focus on awareness raising about staff and students’ behaviours and skills, e.g.,
    • How can we support students to develop social competence and problem-solving skills?
    • What is bullying and the four different types of bullying behaviours?
    • Are we modelling the skills we are expecting students to develop?
  • Activities that support teachers to understand the rationale underpinning any new school-wide strategies or approaches that are being implemented and trial these approaches (e.g., restorative practices).
  • A focus on the effective teaching practices suggested in the Caring learning module.