Powerful Professional Learning Blog By Dr. Karen Grose, Associate Partner MindShare Learning Technology, and Jim Strachan, Education Officer, Ministry of Education.

Powerful Professional Learning

       From elementary school to post-secondary studies, Canada has one of the most respected education systems in the world. Our youth are well positioned as today’s global leaders and leaders of the future. Much of this success can be attributed to how educators enhance their professional practice with the goal to support student learning and well being.
       Throughout the year, educators across Canada are involved in multiple models of professional learning. They include, yet are not limited to: job-embedded mentoring, coaching and collaborative inquiry, classroom observation, formal face-to-face, blended or online courses, webinars, mini-modules, book clubs, tweetchats, conferences, and informal dialogue and conversations.
       Research demonstrates collaborative learning designs are most powerful because they allow opportunities for reflective conversation, supported practice, co-work and co-learning. Similar to the process of inquiry teaching and co-learning with our students, developing a co-learning culture with our colleagues is most effective when:
• It occurs in the context of educators’ daily work
• It focuses on the challenges of practice and learning in the classroom
• The desired learning is personalized to the team and shared decision making amongst the team is prevalent
• It includes ongoing cycles of improvement
• It results in collective efficacy

       With the summer upon us, Canadian educators continue their quest for professional growth. Just as students benefit from learning that is personalized based on their needs, passions and interests, so too do educators. The four Rs of authentic learning serve as a provocation for thinking about how we can support our own professional growth.

The 4Rs of Authentic Learning

As educators who constantly strive to support student outcomes and the well being of our students and colleagues, it is imperative we too take the time to foster our own well being. Stay tuned as we address this important topic in the July Mindshare Learning Newsletter.


L. Sharratt and B. Planche, Leading Collaborative Learning: Empowering excellence (Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, 2016);

J. Donohoo and M. Velasco,(2016). The Transformative Power of Collaborative Inquiry: Realizing change in schools and classrooms (Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, 2016).

Ontario Ministry of Education, New Teacher Induction Program – Induction Elements Manual (2018)