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Teacher professional learning and collaboration in secondary schools

This dissertation focuses on teacher professional learning and collaboration in secondary schools.

Loes de Jong
20 May 2020
Fulltext in Leiden Repository

Collegial collaboration is a widely acknowledged learning environment for teachers, in both research and policy, and collaborative initiatives are purposefully organized in secondary schools. Yet, insights into the context-dependent nature of teacher collaboration and the relation between collaboration and learning are lacking. Four studies were conducted, including one literature study, one large-scale questionnaire study and two multiple case studies, both cross-sectional and longitudinal.

Together, the studies provide insights into how teachers collaborate, what factors influence collaboration, and how collaboration supports teacher learning. The results of this dissertation point to one school factor that has a direct and long-term effect: The integration of learning and collaboration initiatives by actively promoting, coordinating, and facilitating them in school.

This dissertation furthermore shows how the course and the learning potential of short-term collaboration initiatives depend on the existence of a collaborative school culture. Collective reflection on teaching and student learning, design of lessons, and experimentation promote teacher learning, but adequate support is essential. Lastly, this dissertation indicates that challenging each other in dialogues is promising, although teachers’ continuity in participation and shared leadership in the group seem decisive in promoting teacher learning.

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