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Edu 4001 - Professional Learning and Development in Education: Setting the scene

This guide has been created for education students undertaking the unit Edu-4001.

Research and professional development

High-quality teaching is vital for student success! It is therefore important to explore the basic elements of effective professional development and leadership, which is crucial for continued teacher development.

There are a number of approaches to professional learning and development for teachers, depending on the individual's needs. One of them is through action research.  

"Action research can support teachers, as researchers, to investigate and better understand their work. It is participative in that the researcher is also the practitioner - the teacher. The examination of teacher practice drives the action research process. While action research can provide learnings about the practice of teaching it can also influence policy decisions"

The action research process is cyclic and is based on the concept of continuous learning. The cycle  involves selecting the focus area, planning, implementing and acting on the plan, observing and collecting data, analysing, reflecting, re-planning and taking new action (see image below).


Source: Victorian Government Education & Training (2013). Professional Learning Approaches.

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