Training counts towards professional development

Thursday, February 16, 2017

It’s the time of year for thinking about professional development. What professional learning goals are you going to set for yourself? What kinds of professional experiences do you want to have by the end of the year?

The Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) offers a good framework for planning the professional learning needs of all primary and secondary school educators. Its National Professional Standards for Teachers outlines seven standards across three domains of teaching: professional knowledge, professional practice and professional engagement.

The Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation runs face-to-face and online training sessions, which contribute evidence of professional development in specific elements of these Standards.

Delivering Kitchen Garden Classes, the Foundation’s one-day workshop which covers the basics of running a kitchen garden program, are starting now Australia-wide. This workshop encompasses all three domains of the Standards.

Here’s a brief overview of how the Delivering Kitchen Garden Classes training counts towards professional development hours:

Professional knowledge: Participants in Delivering Kitchen Garden Classes training develop professional knowledge through learning how to deliver kitchen and garden classes. This meets the focus area in the Standards that relates to ‘content selection and organisation’.

Professional practice: In the all-day training session, participants plan kitchen and garden classes using planning resources, some of which make direct links to the mandated learning requirements of the Australian Curriculum. Participants also learn how to establish a safe learning environment for students. This meets the requirements of the focus areas relating to planning for learning and using resources and the focus area recommending that educators develop professionally in how to ‘manage classroom activities’.

Professional engagement: In the training, teachers are involved in hands-on gardening and cooking, alongside their peers and fellow participants, directly experiencing the learning to be delivered to students. The Standard which recommends that educators ‘engage in professional learning and improve practice’ applies here.

The descriptors for the Standards’ focus areas vary across the teaching career stages (graduate, proficient, highly accomplished and lead). The Foundation’s Delivering Kitchen Garden Classes training is applicable to all the career stages – from educators delivering an established program to those new to the kitchen garden.

As an educator, I found the kitchen garden training inspiring and motivating. Participants actually take part in cooking and gardening activities and share a meal. The information delivered revealed many learning opportunities and tools: educational resources, how to make links to the Curriculum, online resources covering recipes, practical strategies for running kitchen and garden classes, classroom management tips, as well as how to access a kitchen garden community of schools and learning centres across the country.

If you’re as excited about kitchen garden program in schools as I am, make this training a priority in your professional learning plan.

Happy learning!

Steph Davies, Education Advisor

The Foundation is running Delivering Kitchen Garden Classes across the country over the next couple of months, and sessions are filling quickly. Find a location near you.

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