Learning Pioneers is an online professional learning community, built by teachers for teachers

We have developed this community over the course of several years in response to the lack of agency teachers and schools often have over their professional learning journey. We were noticing that professional development (or professional "learning" as we call it):

  • Tended to be once off INSET from one key speakers
  • Focused on one item on the school's professional learning plan
  • Didn't necessarily take into account teacher's individual interests, drives, specialisms and inquiries
  • Often got "lost in the wind" after a big bang at the beginning
  • Involved little or no collaboration and sharing of ideas across schools and contexts

In short, professional learning opportunities often seemed to be "one size fits all" and put all your learning eggs in one basket.


Why not, we wondered:

  • Create a learning programme where teachers can follow their own professional interests with colleagues across the globe which also fits with the schools development plan (Win-Win)
  • Put professional learning into the hands of educators - give them agency, drive and excitement (because then they will enjoy and engage with their jobs more and ultimately impact on the learning and happiness of the children)
  • Invite in the world's leading speakers to answer OUR co-created, tailored questions that will impact specifically on our contexts
  • Create a safe, welcoming, inspiring learning space where we can interact with, learn from and troubleshoot with schools and practitioners across the globe
  • Collaborate with world leaders in developing successful learning communities to embed powerful professional learning programmes in our schools
  • Commit ourselves to making this the most impactful, caring, inspiring and innovative place it can be

So, that's what we did. Learning Pioneers is the result.

Through listening to and collaborating with our members, we have fine-tuned our approach and system to make it the incredible learning community it is today. We continue to learn, grow and adapt together. Lead thinkers love what we are doing too. Check out what James Nottingham and Trevor MacKenzie have to say about our learning community:

Click on the links below to find out more about areas of our community and how it works.

About Becky

Headshot of Becky Carlzon

Our founder

Hey! I'm Becky Carlzon, an educator just like you. At its best, I absolutely love teaching - I love the creativity it involves, connecting deeply with the children and families I work with and being in a profession that is always learning and adapting. There is no better feeling, in my opinion, than being in the middle of a buzzing classroom, surrounded by enthusiastic, curious, caring learners.

It hasn't always been this way though.

I have hit rock bottom in this profession. It has been the absolute opposite I hoped it would be. I went from loving every minute of my job, to working every waking hour of the day, buried in paperwork, overwhelmed by changes beyond my control, and, quite frankly, in fear that I might be sacked for no apparent reason. This is a terrible place. If you have been in this place too, you may have felt the same as I did. "The only way out is to quit", my mind told me. So I did. For a while.

But, somehow, I picked myself back up. I recovered. I got coaching and therapy and found my way back to the profession I love. One of the key things that got me back in the classroom was a community of caring colleagues. People around me who encouraged me, told me I "could", supported me and cared for me. Another thing that got me back was the memory that it could be great. More than great - The best! When I'm learning with others, improving my craft, engaging in a co-creative learning journey with the children in my care, I love my job.

And this is why I created Learning Pioneers - So that others can have this connection and support, ideally before they feel they have to quit! Teachers are incredible. YOU are incredible. And I want that to be reflected back to you every single day. So that when the going gets tough, you will have the resilience, support and ideas to carry on. So that when you take a brave risk and apply amazing learning, you have a crew to celebrate with you (even if you don't always have this in your school yet!).

Some people say the incredible speakers, like Kath Murdoch and James Nottingham, we have in Learning Pioneers is its highlight and strength; others say its the opportunities to contribute to world-leading practice; others say it's being coached and mentored by leading, knowledgeable practitioners. Personally, I think it's the people in the community that make Learning Pioneers. Birg Car, one of our long-standing members, and Learning Pioneer Advocate summarises it perfectly below:

Learning Pioneers has been one of my biggest positives personally and professionally this year.
Birg Car

If you'd like to find out more about what it's like being part of our community, please feel free to message one of our Advocates below: