Our final AP Guide, of the suite of four, is designed to support APs and their organisation to achieve steady, incremental and positive change.
The Guide explores how teachers can achieve significant professional development in a meaningful way that enhances both moral and professional esteem whilst simultaneously improving the quality of teaching, learning and assessment.
By ‘situating’ professional development in real and pressing quality improvement issues, with a mandate to explore and develop improvement, we create the conditions in which peer-supported collaborations naturally develop an ethos of high-performance work practices. The principles underpinning these approaches, and particularly High-Performance Teams, form a ‘strategic’ view of how individual, team and organisational development needs to linked or aligned. Rowden (2001)1 describes “a model of strategic change in which everyone is engaged in identifying and solving problems so that the organisation is continuously changing, experimenting and improving, thus increasing its capacity to grow and achieve its purpose.” This, in many ways, describes a ‘learning organisation’ – literally, an organisation that is able to learn more quickly that the environment in which it has to operate – and the role of the AP in creating this culture of continual change and improvement should, hopefully, be clear.
Situating (professional) learning, in shared areas of current concern, brings quality improvement into line with staff development and creates a collective aspiration towards ‘making things better’. This sort of endeavour is inherently aspirational and affirms professional identity and the naturally occurring wish, that all of us have, to make a positive difference.
The guide explores the theoretical basis for, and the practical ways in which, Situated Learning and High-Performance Work Practices can evolve at the heart of quality improvement whilst enhancing the professional esteem and morale of all staff.
1 Rowden R.W. (2001) The Learning Organisation & Strategic Change, S.A.M. Advanced Management Journal, Summer 2001, Vol 66, Issue 3 pg 117p