Theme 4: Teaching and teacher Education

The thematic group Teaching and Teacher Education studies the contribution of teachers in creating optimal conditions for student learning and ensuring educational effectiveness. In this thematic group, theory advancement focuses on the relations between teachers knowledge, teacher activities, and professional development of teachers. Quality of teaching is studied by relating teaching to students’ learning processes and (cognitive, affective, and behavioural) learning outcomes.

ICO researchers within this thematic group use various theoretical perspectives to study teaching. Research from an interpersonal perspective, which studies teaching in terms of the relationship between teacher and students, shows differential effects of teacher influence and proximity on cognitive and affective outcomes, and active learning of students. Results also reveal differences in interventions that are adequate for teachers at the start (where influence is relatively low) and for teachers towards the end (where proximity goes downward) of their career. Research from a learning activities perspective, has contributed to understanding of how teaching influences the learning activities students undertake. It adds to understanding the different ways in which student-regulation and teacher-regulation of learning act upon one another, and how to promote congruence and constructive friction and avoid destructive friction between these two modes of control Studies adopting a personal knowledge perspective, have contributed to insights in the content and the structure of the knowledge and beliefs teachers develop about various pedagogical and didactical aspects related to their practice. Among others, research in this area has improved our understanding of the ways experienced teachers respond to educational innovations, depending on their epistemological beliefs in relation to their conceptions of teaching and learning.

An important development in research within the thematic group Teaching and Teacher Education concerns the increasing attention for teacher learning processes. Professional development of teachers can be understood better if it is conceived of as a result of a lifelong process of learning and consequently, more attention is given to work-related learning. Progress within this thematic group is foreseen especially when different theoretical perspectives are used simultaneously and in an integrative manner to study teaching. In particular, theory advancement will benefit from research relating teachers knowledge to their actions and to students learning processes, from studies relating learning activities of teachers to changes in both their knowledge and behaviour, and from using longitudinal designs to study professional

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