The General Teaching Council for Scotland

Enhancing professionalism in education since 1965

Model pupils

Zoè Robertson, Senior Education Officer

In previous issues of Teaching Scotland we have explored teacher professionalism and the critical importance of professional learning to support and further enhance the quality of teaching and learning in Scotland (see Issue 67 re teacher professionalism; 68 re professional learning).

GTC Scotland has, in collaboration with colleagues across Scotland and drawing on current research and literature, developed strategic guidance on what highquality, effective professional learning looks like. At the heart of this is the professional learning model. The aim of the model and guidance is to support teachers, school leaders and all those who lead or provide professional learning opportunities to consider and discuss what great and impactful professional learning looks like.

The professional learning model identifies the key principles and features of effective professional learning that should impact positively on teachers and leaders, their practice and the learning of children and young people.

The model of professional learning captures the core features and processes of professional learning.

The central focus is the teacher-as-learner, the deeply interconnected relationship between the teacher-as-learner and children and young people, and the impact of this relationship on the learning experience.

Professional learning should be:

  • Challenging and lead to developing thinking, knowledge, skills and understanding [Learning that deepens knowledge and understanding]
  • Underpinned by an enquiring stance and developing skills of enquiry and criticality [Learning by enquiring]
  • Interactive, reflective and involve learning with and from others [learning-as-collaborative]
  • Informed and supported by Professional Standards and other educational policy.

Leadership of and for learning is recognised as an essential factor to ensure professional learning is well planned, supported, promoted and sustained.

The professional learning model is a tool to help plan development of and engagement in professional learning. It could be used by those leading, providing and supporting professional learning to provide a shared language and aspiration informing the provision, structure and nature of professional learning. Individuals could use the model to help plan for and understand their own professional learning needs and expectations.

Download the Professional Learning Model    

GTCS Professional Learning Model


Teaching Scotland

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Editor contact: Evelyn Wilkins

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