Applying a researched approach to teacher development is key to improved learning for K-12 learners. Educators have needs that are strikingly similar to those of their students. For example, both students and teachers prefer to have choice in their learning processes. They both benefit more from ongoing support and development than from summative evaluations. Educators benefit more from many shorter, regular, imbedded learning opportunities that help build new professional habits. This is in contrast to one-time professional learning events. Like students, educators welcome access to knowledge and expertise. This is made increasingly available through technology. Equally important are recruitment and retention promising practices supported through orientation programs that sensitize teachers to cultural contexts and to the importance of building relationships, as well as access to safe and decent living and teaching conditions.
These modern ideas, which are at the heart of current educational research, have much in common with Aboriginal beliefs about learning. These beliefs see learning as a lifelong lived practice that is linked to community, environmental, and individual well-being.