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Professional Learning

What is Professional Learning?

Professional learning is what teachers engage in to stimulate their thinking and professional knowledge and to ensure that their practice is critically informed and up-to-date. We believe that by undertaking a wide range of high-quality, sustained professional learning experiences, teachers are more likely to inspire pupils and provide high quality teaching and learning experiences, enabling learners to achieve their best. It is important that professional learning provides rich opportunities for teachers to develop and enhance their professional knowledge and practice, in order to progress the quality of learning and teaching and school improvement.

Examples of Professional Learning

From the information above, it is clear that professional learning can take many forms. Here are some examples of professional learning opportunities:

  • Self-evaluation and critical reflection processes
  • Experiential, action or enquiry-based learning
  • Professional dialogue with colleagues, other professionals, parents, and learners
  • Focused professional reading and research
  • Leading or engaging in practitioner enquiry/action research
  • Critical analysis of reading, learning and impact on professional practice
  • Learning about aspects of the curriculum or pedagogical practice
  • Peer support e.g. coaching or mentoring
  • Classroom visits/peer observation
  • online learning/blogs
  • Work shadowing
  • Co-operative or team teaching
  • Participation in collaborative activity e.g. teacher learning community, learning round
  • Leading or participating in a working or task group
  • Planning learning which is inter-disciplinary or cross-sector
  • Participation in activities relating to assessment and moderation
  • Secondments, acting posts and placements
  • Masters study and qualifications
  • Accredited courses or activity related to achieving national professional standards for teachers
  • Professional/Academic conferences

GTC Scotland's Professional Recognition process provides the opportunity for teachers to focus on and develop their professional learning in particular areas of interest and/or expertise and gain recognition for enhancing their knowledge, understanding and practice.


If you have any queries about your Professional Learning contact: Professional Learning and Development Department
T: +44(0)131 314 6086