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PhD ceremony Ms. S. de Vries: Student orientation as a catalyst for career-long teacher learning. Beliefs about learning and teaching and participation in learning activities by experienced and student teachers in Dutch secondary education

When:Th 10-04-2014 at 14:30
Where:Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen

PhD ceremony: Ms. S. de Vries

Dissertation: Student orientation as a catalyst for career-long teacher learning. Beliefs about learning and teaching and participation in learning activities by experienced and student teachers in Dutch secondary education

Promotor(s): prof. W.J.C.M. van de Grift

Faculty: Behavioural and Social Sciences

Student Orientation as a Catalyst for Career-Long Teacher Learning investigates learning by both experienced teachers and student teachers in Dutch secondary education. Although it is critical for teachers to learn continually - because teachers who learn teach better - not all of them do so or seek to develop themselves and their skills throughout their careers.

For this investigation, more than 320 experienced and student teachers participated, sharing their beliefs about learning and teaching (i.e., subject matter orientation versus student orientation). By assessing these beliefs in relation to their degree of participation in learning activities, such as updating knowledge and skills, reflecting on teaching experiences, and collaborating with colleagues, this study reveals some key insights.

The main conclusion of this thesis is that student orientation is the foundation of teacher learning and, thus, of good teaching. Teachers who have more learning and development orientations toward their students are more learning and development oriented themselves. They participate more often in updating activities, reflect more often on their experiences, and collaborate more often with their colleagues. This conclusion applies to both experienced teachers and student teachers in the first and most important stage of the career-long learning process, preparing the ground for later learning in subsequent phases.

These findings have impactful implications for practice in schools and teacher education.

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