Soft Landings Creating a Safe Place for Teachers to Take Risks While Learning




teacher learning, soft landings, leadership, professional learning, professional development


Leaders have a significant influence on student learning and are responsible for leading teacher professional learning in schools. While principals often lead teacher learning, others assist in this role. With the recent pandemic, it is clear there is a need for continued teacher learning. Extensive research on professional development has been conducted and is well known to be a strategy for improving teacher learning. While professional development offers short-term opportunities, a focus on professional learning in schools emphasizes sustained, ongoing experiences that engage teachers in inquiry around their practices. This mixed study explored the impact of sustained professional development. Semi-structured interviews and focus groups were conducted and analyzed. Documents were identified for quantitative analysis and then integrated with qualitative data. Findings showed the notion of soft landings, as referred to by participants, a culture where it was safe to risk and try to implement ideas they were learning. This culture was an important aspect of this sustained and ongoing experience for teachers. Key leadership practices nurturing the culture of soft landings were developing collective commitment, encouraging risk-taking, promoting collaboration, and providing individualized support. This study offers insights into how leadership can play a role in providing sustained experiences to create a school culture that nurtures teacher learning. This article holds significance to those leading teacher learning in schools and those interested in utilizing leadership practices that attend to building a culture of soft landings.



20-06-2022 — Updated on 23-06-2022

How to Cite

Thomas, C. (2022). Soft Landings Creating a Safe Place for Teachers to Take Risks While Learning. International Journal for Leadership in Learning, 22(1), 73–92.