Symposium Details

2024 Theme

Our fifth Leadership for Professional Learning Symposium highlights a global problem: the initial preparation and continuing development of educators in times of increasing complexity and challenges. 

School systems around the world face teacher shortages. It is becoming more common for schools to employ emergency-certified educators and long-term substitute teachers, increasingly following school-based routes in their initial preparation phase to becoming qualified. Leaders will need to ensure that professional learning will be adaptive to their different needs and encourage the best to enter and remain as educators. Leaders must foster in teachers what teachers aim to foster in their students: intrinsic motivation, resilience, creative thinking and well-being, as well as commitment to democratic values, inclusion and equitable learning opportunities.

The symposium will focus on the different approaches to professional learning needed to ensure that new entrants, from increasingly diverse backgrounds, are equipped to begin and continue as highly competent educators. Additionally, the symposium aims to highlight approaches to ongoing professional learning that support and retain qualified teachers in the profession. Specifically, the symposium will focus on the role of leaders at all levels in ensuring that those responsible for supporting the learning of young people and adults are themselves supported in their own learning journeys.  

As a community of researchers and practitioners, the Leadership for Professional Learning network aims to convene contributors in a global dialogue around leading professional cultures that not only support new educators facing the reality shock of entering practical experience, but also support experienced educators faced with unusual and hyper-complex challenges. These challenges include supporting student and teacher social-emotional well-being, the impact of economic and social inequity exacerbated by the pandemic, the inclusion of student refugees from areas of conflict or disaster within multi-ethnic schools, and the need to ensure continuity of learning using new technologies in times of erratic school attendance. These challenges occur within the ever-present context of socio-political forces with competing views of the purpose of education in a democratic society.

The symposium provides an opportunity for leaders, practitioners, researchers and policy makers to share innovative and optimistic ways of meeting the challenges facing 21st century educators. Collectively, we aim to answer the call of the 2022 UNESCO Youth Declaration on Transforming Education to promote “a broader and holistic vision of education that is founded upon the principles of peace and human rights and one that enables every young person to lead a fulfilling, motivated, enjoyable, and quality life.”

Call for Proposals
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