Område 4: Professional development of student and novice teachers
Professional development includes both profession specific teacher competence development and professional teacher identity formation. Professional practice presupposes interplay between different kinds of knowledge, skills, attitudes and judgement (Sullivan & Rosin, 2008). Previous research has identified teachers’ perception of their own competence as a school teacher as an important predictor for: pupils’ motivation and achievements (Caprara, Barbaranelli, Steca, & Malone, 2006; Guo, Connor, Yang, Roehrig, & Morrison, 2012), teachers’ professional identity (Canrinus, Helms-Lorenz, Beijaard, Buitink, & Hofman, 2012), job satisfaction (Caprara et al., 2006), professional commitment (Skaalvik & Skaalvik, 2007; Ware & Kitsantas, 2007) and attrition from the teaching profession (Hong, 2012; Klassen & Chiu, 2011). Furthermore, level of perceived competence acquired during professional preparation in the teacher-training programme is of major importance for perceived mastery of teaching as a school teacher (Hatlevik, 2017). The development of student teachers’ perceived competence is, therefore, an important subject to investigate as we prepare student teachers for coping with change and transformation in a future orientated society.
Members of the research group focus particularly on teacher professional development in relation to the concepts of identity and agency. Teacher identity is a multifaceted and dynamic phenomenon with links to the self and agency, and that combines both a personal and professional dimension (Beauchamp and Thomas 2011). Professional identity and agency are closely connected and are expressed by how you personally see yourself as a teacher and how you are being influenced by the conceptions and expectations of the context, including broadly accepted images in society about what teachers should know and do (Beijaard et al., 2004). Across various research orientations there is an agreement that agency relates to individuals and groups of individuals’ capacity for self-regulation, making choices and acting on these choices in order to control their lives and the environments in which they are living in. Agency as a key concept is therefore used by several scholars with an interest in the learning of individuals and collectives in work-related contexts. Despite a wide interest in the topic only few empirical studies have examined student teachers’ agency during teacher education and the impact of teacher education on teacher agency (Toom, Pyhältö & O’Connell Rust, 2015).
Within TEPEC researchers are working with the ideas represented above, having a close connection to how personal development as professional teacher is related to progression in teacher education programs.