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May 28, 2013
For immediate release

Province works to enhance professional learning

Education and Early Childhood Development

A recent report provides valuable insight on how we can enhance our professional learning model to benefit Island students, says Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Alan McIsaac.

“The success of our education system relies on our teachers and educational leaders, and in order to improve student learning and achievement, we need to provide high quality, meaningful professional development opportunities,” said Minister McIsaac.

Teaching is ever changing and challenging work and educators need in-depth knowledge of the subject areas they teach, how students learn and an understanding of classroom environments that optimize learning. They require access to ongoing, high-quality professional learning opportunities to develop and enhance the necessary skills and understandings.

The primary purpose of the Professional Learning Report was to develop a renewed model of professional learning for educators in Prince Edward Island.

As part of the report, there were 10 actions items listed for consideration:

Action 1: Embed time into the workdays of teachers;

Action 2: Restructure the process for curriculum in-services;

Action 3: Foster the role of professional learning teams;

Action 4: Nurture teaching excellence by creating a supportive environment;

Action 5: Develop and strengthen instructional leadership skills;

Action 6: Provide research-based educational updates on effective practices;

Action 7: Align support to key education priorities, in particular, literacy and numeracy;

Action 8: Identify a procedure to follow-up with provincial literacy and numeracy data;

Action 9: Shift overall emphasis of professional learning and financial resources from outside schools to inside schools and classrooms;

Action 10: Encourage and support collaborative working relationships among educational partners.

“Investing in professional learning is key to ensuring that schools become learning communities where teachers work together, learn from each other and share best practices on effective teaching and learning,” said Elizabeth Costa, Director of Achievement and Instructional Development for the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. “There has been many positive steps taken to invest in the professional learning over the years and there are exemplary practices happening in schools across the province. However, there is always more work to be done.”

To determine the perspectives of Prince Edward Island educators regarding current professional learning practices and future learning needs, information was gathered through interviews, focus groups and an on-line survey. A small committee of educators also reviewed the information and provided feedback into the process. The committee included representatives from the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, the Prince Edward Island Teachers Federation, the English and French Language School Boards and the University of Prince Edward Island.

“I would like to recognize the members of the committee for their hard work and input to this report, which provides us with clear direction on how we can enhance our professional learning model to better meet the current needs of teachers and students,” said Minister McIsaac. I would also like to thank all of the teachers and educational partners who provided valuable feedback throughout this process.”

The report is available online at

Media Contact: Laura Steeves
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