Learning resources are tools that instructors may use to improve certain aspects of their jobs as part of their professional development (either pre-service or in-service).

This is significant since teacher quality has been identified as the most critical element in influencing the efficacy of a school system. Teachers are more likely to be able to effectively adapt their experiences to the classroom if they have agency in this process, that is, if they are involved in and contribute to the design.

Institutional resources may include school behaviour or inclusion policy documents, evaluation methods, or information for new instructors. Institutional resources may include school behavior or inclusion policy documents, evaluation methods, or information for new instructors.

Some institutions offer a library or a section of the staffroom where instructors may utilize books or journals regarding teacher development, and there are, of course, online resources that all teachers can access: articles about teaching and education, teacher websites, and teaching social media groups.

How may these resources be used by teachers?

You may be seen as a major source of information as a teacher educator and asked to propose relevant materials to teachers or teacher education providers (e.g., a school director or university department coordinator). You must be aware of the following in order to give good recommendations:

  • The profile of the teacher (including who, what, and where they teach, their experience, and educational background)
  • The necessity for education (what do they want to improve and why)
  • The anticipated outcome (e.g. learning a new technique, behaviour change).

Learning materials, in addition to being sources of information for teachers, may be utilised by teachers and teacher educators to co-construct knowledge as part of continuous professional development.

The criteria for selection

You may be working with current teaching materials in your institution or online, or you could be creating new ones. For existing resources, the selection process used by teacher educators to pick teacher learning materials can be comparable to how teachers select content for a class, making educated decisions on whether to:

Use the material as is, adjust it to the instructional contexts of the instructors with whom you collaborate, and replace it with something more relevant to your learning goal.

As part of this decision-making process, evaluate if you need materials to recommend to instructors, utilise in a workshop or training course, or as part of the mentoring or observation process:

Relevance and audience

  • Who is this content’s target audience?
  • Is it acceptable for the instructional setting in which I wish to utilise it? Teachers (e.g., preschool/primary/secondary/tertiary, experienced/inexperienced, teachers with/without access to ICT in their schools/classrooms, topic teachers)
  • Is it in line with the required professional standards for teachers with whom I work (and the corresponding assessment system)?
  • Is it culturally acceptable?
  • Is the information simple to read and comprehend?
  • Will it pique instructors’ interest?

Regarding digital resources

  • Is it necessary to share personal information? Is this safe and acceptable for my students? 

Emphasis on education

  • What do I/the instructors I work with want to accomplish?
  • How would this help me/them achieve their objectives?
  • Will it help instructors who have diverse learning styles?
  • Is the content distinctive?
  • If not, can I tailor it to the teachers?
  • Is it appropriate for teachers with SEN or a specific learning disability that I am aware of?

Regarding digital resources

  • What interactive elements are offered, and what instructional function do they serve?

Precision and authority

  • Is the information current and correct?
  • Where does the content come from?
  • Who invented it?
  • Are they competent to offer knowledge on this subject?
  • Is the information skewed?
  • Regarding digital resources
  • Is there any advertising in it?
  • Does this have an impact on the content?

Once you begin working with a teacher’s learning resources, you should create a system for storing and retrieving them. You may have a file system for offline materials, save workshop activities in envelopes or folders, and maintain physical copies of documents for photocopying. These might be kept in a learning materials section that teachers can also access.

You can save online content on your institution’s computer system, if you have one, or on your laptop or phone using an online bookmarking service like Pinterest, Padlet, Google Keep, or One Note.