Centre for higher education studies professional learning

The challenge

In April 2022, the project team hosted a design summit for primary and secondary teachers and school leaders. The aim of the summit was to identify the professional learning needs of teachers of high ability children. The attendees identified the following key challenge that we will seek to address via this project:

Schools and school communities* don’t feel equipped to recognise, plan for and support high ability students to learn (within the classroom and beyond).

*with acknowledgement that students, parents, teachers, school leaders, etc. are integral to a school community.

Project overview

The project has a number of stages. In 2022, the project includes a design summit, course design and pilots with focus groups and participants, in addition to a scoping review of the literature into high ability teaching and learning. In 2023–2024, the project will include course delivery and data collection and analysis, seeking to address the challenge identified by the key stakeholders.


The project team are working in collaboration with various stakeholders from the Department of Education and Training (DET) to design, develop and deliver professional learning courses focused on supporting school-based staff (primary teachers, secondary teachers and school leaders) to better meet the needs and potentials of their high-achieving and high-ability students.

Delivery will occur via the newly established Centre for Higher Education Studies (CHES) using a ‘Hy-Flex’ (hybrid-flexible) delivery model. Hy-Flex is a student-centered model of class delivery that combines face-to-face and online learning. The use of innovative technologies including gamification technologies and 360-degree video of classroom practices ensures that those on-site and those participating virtually across Victoria have an equitable learning experience.

Course participants will become members of a professional learning community who conduct their own research projects within their school contexts and share their learnings via an interactive online virtual platform, contributing to a resource bank to which all attendees will have ongoing access.

Project team

Dr Maria Nicholas (Chief Investigator, School of Education)

A/Prof Andrew Skourdoumbis (Co-leader, School of Education)

Miss Ondine Bradbury (School of Education)

A/Prof Linda Hobbs (School of Education)

Dr John Cripps Clark (School of Education)

Dr Seamus Delaney (School of Education)

Dr George Aranda (School of Education)

Dr Shaun Bangay (School of IT lead)

Dr Sophie Mckenzie (School of IT)

Dr Guy Wood-Bradley (School of IT)


Department of Education and Training Victoria.





professional learning, technology, high achieving, hy-flex