Key to the ongoing development of staff is access to authentic, professional learning experiences that foster the interest, capacity and understanding of one’s own practice. It is most successful when it is situated in the learning environment and developed through the ongoing sharing of ideas within the learning community.

The Barker Institute aims to develop a range of professional learning opportunities throughout the year and into the future, by sharing examples of best practice amongst the Barker staff and also by engaging with other educators from a range of settings.

In 2015, the Barker Institute will provide professional learning to support the implementation of the iPad programme in Year 7 through the provision of courses and experiences that enable staff to explore new and innovative pedagogy with their iPads and emerging technology in class. Crucial to this will be the exploration of teaching practice within the existing TfU framework and emerging learning models, combined with the development of new approaches to assessment and inquiry learning, exploring creative delivery of lessons across all subject areas.

To complement the various ongoing professional learning experiences, the College of Teachers has been formed to inspire staff to reflect, observe and gather new ideas and practices from their colleagues. The College of Teachers includes experienced teachers who will mentor staff and engage in reflective practice across different age levels and curriculum areas. This is an exciting initiative and one that will assist staff continually to refine and review their teaching.

Other professional learning will be forthcoming, including ongoing delivery of updates relating to the Australian Curriculum, the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL), BOSTES and teacher accreditation. Emerging approaches to assessment and research will be explored. It is hoped that the Barker Institute can develop collaborative ventures with institutions and with aspiring teachers as they prepare to enter the teaching profession.

Watch this space for updates on courses, forums and lectures as they arise throughout the year.