Professional learning: what teachers want to learn
The aim of this thesis was to examine what teachers want to learn themselves. The main research question was: what, how and why teachers want to learn? And does this depend on their years of teaching experience and the school at which they work?
- M.L. Louws MSc
- 09 June 2016
- Fulltext in Leiden University Repository
Research on teacher learning focuses mostly on what teachers should learn. This is because teachers must learn permanently due to curriculum changes and educational reforms in secondary education. The aim of this thesis was to examine what teachers want to learn themselves. The main research question was: what, how and why teachers want to learn? And does this depend on their years of teaching experience and the school at which they work?
It goes for all teachers that what they want to learn has to do with the subject they teach. For example, 'how can students learn my subject in the best way?' Novice teachers have different learning objectives than experienced teachers. For example, new teachers want to learn about effective explanation of their subject and about classroom management, while experienced teachers also formulate 'wider' learning goals focused on their tasks at school and the use of ICT in the classroom.
How teachers want to learn was mostly by experiment in class and collaboration with colleagues.Finally, the study focused on why teachers want to learn. Teachers learn because they want to get better at something or because they find something important.
Finally, it was found that characteristics of the school play an important role in what teachers want to learn. When teachers experience a shared vision, a positive learning culture and support from the head teacher, they often mention learning objectives that correspond to objectives of the school. What teachers want to learn than corresponds to what they 'must' learn. For a school it is therefore important to invest in such school characteristics that promote the learning of teachers.