What do teachers learn during the innovation of their courses?

Higher education in The Netherlands is in the midst of a host of innovations in teaching and learning: Learning analytics, personalized learning pathways, flipped classrooms, competency based teaching, collaborative learning in interdisciplinary projects, challenge-based learning, and technology enhanced learning are only a few examples of such innovations. These innovations require different roles from teachers. Unfortunately, in the introduction and evaluation of such innovations what teachers learn and what skills, knowledge, views and identities they (need to) acquire is hardly ever taken along. Research on teacher professional learning and development in higher education is still in its infancy. A variety of professional development initiatives is being practiced, for instance workshops, teacher research, learning through reflection, peer coaching, ‘scholarship of teaching and learning’ programmes, lesson studies, learning communities and networked learning. A solid research base founded on research about whether, how and why different approaches work in different contexts, however, is lacking. Moreover, research on teacher professional development is often disconnected from research on student learning.

The granted NWO (NRO) research project aims to answer the question whether, how and why different approaches to teacher professional learning and development work for different innovations, contexts and populations. This will be done by conducting a literature study, conducting a broad as well as an in-depth study of existing cases, and an intervention study, in which data will be collected on the innovation (context), teacher activities, support for teachers, teachers’ learning and the effect on students.

The project will have a duration of 3,5 years and will start in September 2020. Results of the study will be communicated regularly via the 4TU.CEE website and other channels.

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