Central to Cosán is the notion that teachers’ learning should have an impact on their practice and on the learning of their students. It recognises teachers as autonomous and responsible professionals who are best placed to determine such impact, and to prioritise the learning that benefits them and their students. The framework supports them in doing so.
Learning processes such as engagement in professional conversations, reading a relevant article, team teaching with a colleague and engaging in collaborative reflection afterwards, attendance at a professional learning event, facilitating school-based learning events, engaging in mentoring/coaching, etc., are all valued under Cosán. Cosán also takes account of learning that is supported by Oide, other State-funded support services, and the network of Education Support Centres.
Cosán does not stipulate hours or credit requirements, and teachers’ engagement in learning is not currently linked to renewal of their registration.
Planning and Reflecting
Cosán recognises that teachers are intrinsically motivated to take ownership of their learning, and encourages them to engage in cycles of planning, evidence gathering, reflection and ongoing learning. This is known as portfolio-based learning. Portfolio-based learning allows teachers to determine the impact of their learning on their practice, and plan for further professional learning and/or improvements in their practice.
Teachers themselves are best placed to decide what evidence they should gather to support them in reflecting on their learning and determining its impact. They should also consider how they might wish to record their learning and their reflections. Teachers can also decide if they want to share with colleagues in order to inform and support professional conversations.
There are many ways to reflect. For example, reflection can be done individually or collaboratively. It can be done in writing, through pictures, or in conversation with others. While Cosán does not prescribe a particular model of reflection, feedback from teachers suggests that collaborative reflection and professional conversations with colleagues can be particularly effective when reflecting on professional learning.
The systemwide implementation of Cosán by 2027 is a key objective of Council, as set out in its Strategic Plan ‘Promote the system-wide implementation of Cosán (the national framework for teachers’ learning) in collaboration with the Department of Education, its support services and national stakeholders, to foster joy and creativity in learning’. Key stakeholders, such as Oide, higher education institutions and education support centres are aligning the supports they offer with the principles, values and standards underpinning Cosán, and supporting teachers in engaging with it. The Cosán Action Plan, which has been developed jointly by the Department of Education and the Teaching Council, sets out the role of each of those stakeholders in the systemwide implementation of Cosán.