The professional development of teachers
The focus of research theme 2 is on the knowledge construction and development of the professional identities of pre-service, beginning, and experienced teachers. Some of the subject-matter-related projects focus on teacher learning within the context of educational innovation, such as research intensive higher education, or concept-context biology education. The focus of general projects is on teacher learning in specially created learning environments such as environments that require them to undertake action research, or cooperate with each other. These projects are primarily aimed at a description of how and what teachers learn under the specific circumstances involved. In some of the projects, the extent to which changes in teachers’ cognitions influence their behavior is also examined. Several projects focus on the effects of assessments on teachers’ professional development. Yet another project is concerned with the structural and cultural working conditions needed for teacher learning to occur. The majority of the projects addressing the professional development of teachers have a rather small numbers of participants. The study designs involve various instruments and complex processes to analyze the data, including triangulation procedures. Such instruments and procedures are needed to assess teacher learning processes in a valid and reliable manner. The majority of the projects also concern secondary school teachers, but several projects concern university teachers.