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Developing professional capital in policy and practice: Ontario’s Teacher Learning and Leadership Program

Carol Campbell (University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada)
Ann Lieberman (Stanford University, Stanford, California, USA)
Anna Yashkina (University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada)

Journal of Professional Capital and Community

ISSN: 2056-9548

Article publication date: 4 July 2016



The purpose of this paper is to provide evidence from Ontario’s Teacher Learning and Leadership Program (TLLP) with goals to: support experienced teachers to undertake self-directed professional development; develop teachers’ leadership skills for sharing their professional learning and practices; and facilitate knowledge exchange.


The paper draws on four years of research including: analyses of TLLP project application proposals and final reports; observations and participant feedback for TLLP events; surveys of TLLP project leaders; vignettes by teacher leaders; interviews with teachers, government and union leaders; case studies of TLLP projects; and analyses of TLLP online networking activity.


TLLP provides an example of developing professional capital, involving: changes in the style and substance of policy making concerning government and unions’ approaches to teachers’ professional development; and the experiences of teachers developing their individual and collaborative professional learning and leadership with benefits for teachers and for students.


Five implications are highlighted: prioritizing teachers’ learning and leadership of, by and for teachers requires shifts in the substance and style of policy making for teachers’ work; professional collaboration benefits from appropriate partnerships and an enabling system with conditions and support for teachers’ learning and leadership; valuing and supporting teachers taking charge of their own professional learning is integral; developing teachers as leaders of their peers’ learning and educational improvements is vital; and enabling teachers as developers of actionable knowledge is powerful for sharing improvements in practices.



The authors wish to acknowledge and thank the Ontario Ministry of Education and OTF for funding and supporting the authors’ TLLP research. The authors’ wish to thank all TLLP participants who have contributed to the ideas and evidence that inform this paper.


Campbell, C., Lieberman, A. and Yashkina, A. (2016), "Developing professional capital in policy and practice: Ontario’s Teacher Learning and Leadership Program ", Journal of Professional Capital and Community, Vol. 1 No. 3, pp. 219-236.



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