Recently, two of our Early Years teachers spent time learning, exploring and inquiring into our teaching and learning practices with Kath Murdoch in London. Kath is an international presenter and expert in inquiry -based learning and integrative curriculum. (More about Kath here: http://kathmurdoch.com.au/index.php?id=22)
‘Pedagogy should, at its best, be about what teachers do that not only helps students to learn but actively strengthens their capacity to learn.’
David Hargreaves, Learning for Life, 2004
(Inquiry Based Learning with Kath Murdoch)
Professional learning for staff at ICS takes many forms, including formal courses and workshops or online classes, school visits and partnerships with other nearby international schools, staff meetings, readings and professional dialogues. All teachers in the Early Years team make time to invest in this kind of professional development. Just as the children in our care are on a learning journey, we teachers strive to keep an open mind, reflecting consistently on our practice and building our understandings of teaching and learning.
In the past year, several teachers spent time in the Italian town of Reggio Emilia, learning about their world-renowned approach to early learning. Others have attended PYP courses and a workshop about outdoor learning led by an expert in the field. Additionally, we have ongoing in-house professional development where we share with each other on a variety of topics.
(Networking and sharing teaching practices with colleagues at The International School of Zug and Luzern)
(All of the Early Years teachers have had the exciting and rewarding opportunity to participate in Study Groups at the world- renowned preschools and kindergartens of Reggio Emilia)
Opportunities to dedicate time and space to professional learning and reflecting as teacher learners are invaluable to improving our practices as well as strengthening our learning communities. Life- long learning is a model we embrace and whatever the professional development opportunity, we invariably return back to the classroom motivated to integrate new ideas and build on current practices.