The Australian Educational Researcher

, Volume 35, Issue 3, pp 1–20 | Cite as

Designing professional learning for effecting change: Partnerships for local and system networks

  • Claire Wyatt-Smith
  • Susan Bridges
  • Maree Hedemann
  • Mary Neville


This paper presents (i) a purpose-built conceptual model for professional learning and (ii) a leadership framework designed to support a large-scale project involving diverse sites across the state of Queensland, Australia. The project had as its focus teacher-capacity building and ways to improve literacy and numeracy outcomes for students at educational disadvantage. It involved 15 intersectoral clusters and brought together Middle School teachers, principals, curriculum leaders and management personnel from Education Queensland, the Association of Independent Schools Inc., and the Catholic Education Commission. In the paper we discuss how the project worked at the interface of research and practice. Further, we discuss how professional learning was facilitated by a multi-layered approach that acknowledged the importance of research-based learning, curriculum and pedagogic leadership by principals, and strong opportunities for teacher agency through cross-cluster and intersectoral collaboration. In conclusion, we invite readers to consider how the approach represents a radical new way to think about what could count as valued professional learning interactions.


Professional Learning Professional Learning Community Layered Leadership Academic Adviser Educational Disadvantage 


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Copyright information

© Australian Association for Research in Education 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claire Wyatt-Smith
    • 1
  • Susan Bridges
    • 2
  • Maree Hedemann
    • 3
  • Mary Neville
    • 3
  1. 1.Griffith UniversityAustralia
  2. 2.The University of Hong KongHong Kong
  3. 3.Education QueenslandAustralia

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