Leading Professional Learning

Subject 460-633 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 25.00
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2009:

Semester 2, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Parkville Campus

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 36 hours
Total Time Commitment: 240 hours total commitment
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/disability


Dr John Keith Munro
Subject Overview: Contemporary organizations such as schools, to be effective, require the ability to adapt and transform their professional practice to respond to changing circumstances. An aspect of this transformation is the professional learning capacity of the organization and the leadership necessary to build and direct this .

This subject builds on a number of concepts; professional knowledge and learning at the individual practitioner level and intellectual, cultural and social capital at the organisational and systemic levels. It develops a model of professional learning that involves five elements: (1) a shared commitment to the goals and outcomes of the learning activity, that is, a professional learning community; (2) role differentiation in terms of professional learning and distributed leadership of learning to achieve this; (3) an explicit model of how to learn professionally that is referenced on contemporary theories of knowledge enhancement and embedded in professional practice; (4) issues associated with contextualising the learning in particular school cultures, that is, the climate for professional learning; and (5) the extent to which autonomous, self managed and directed learning is possible in the professional community.

The model will be applied to a range of issues confronting contemporary schools and educational provision. Approaches to distributed leadership, including middle leadership of professional learning, will be evaluated.

Objectives: On completion of this subject students should be able to:
  • critically analyse contemporary theories of professional learning in terms of current theories of learning and their relevance to understanding pedagogic improvement and school transformation,
  • critically evaluate the model of professional learning in terms of these contemporary theories and identify its implications for pedagogic improvement and school transformation,
  • develop and implement relevant assessment and diagnostic procedures, intervention and instructional procedures for enhancing professional learning that are supported by relevant current research,
  • apply the model of professional learning to range of issues confront contemporary schools and educational provision, such as improved literacy learning.
Assessment: Satisfactory completion of two components:
  • A critical examination ( review and analysis, approx 4, 000 words) of one or more aspects of the model of professional learning developed in lectures and its implications for leading change in schools.
  • Application of the model of professional learning to an issue confronting a particular school improvement project (approximately 4, 000 words).
Prescribed Texts: None
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills: On completion of this subject students should have:
  • critically analyse approaches to pedagogic improvement and school transformation in terms of contemporary theories of professional learning capacity.
  • develop a problem solving approach to fostering professional learning in a range of contexts.
  • develop skills in communicating effective professional learning possibilities and options and criteria for its evaluation and improvement to educational professionals.
  • use the topics of professional learning developed in lectures to implement effective pedagogic improvement and to plan a schedule for implementing an improvement program.
  • work in a team with other professionals working in the area of professional learning to analyse instructional and management procedures, assessment and education programmes.
  • display positive attitudes to the use of professional learning to enhance educational and pedagogic provision.
Links to further information: www.edfac.unimelb.edu.au
Related Course(s): Master of Education (Specific Learning Difficulties)
Master of Education (Stream 100A) Coursework and Thesis A
Master of Education (Stream 100B)Coursework
Master of Education (Stream 150) Major Thesis
Master of Education (Stream 150A) Coursework and Thesis A
Master of Education (Stream 150B) Coursework

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