Since September 2013 Machiel Bouwmans works as a PhD on the research project ‘Team learning of VET teacher teams explained by organizational factors’ at the chair group Education and Competence Studies (ECS) at Wageningen University.
Before starting his PhD, Machiel finished the master programmes Sociology at Tilburg University and Political Science at Radboud University. After his graduation he worked as a researcher on several projects within the educational context at a research and consultancy bureau. Currently, Machiel is also working as a teacher at Educational Sciences at the Utrecht University, where he supervises master students’ thesis writing.
VET teacher teams are responsible for the implementation and realization of educational reforms, such as competence based education. To accomplish these reforms, teachers have to collaborate in multidisciplinary teacher teams. To do this effectively, it is important that teachers share their ideas, knowledge and expertise with each other and integrate these pieces of information into shared perceptions on how to realize educational reforms and maintain the quality of their educational programs. We refer to these processes as team learning.
Together with a research team from the Wageningen UR and Tilburg University, Machiel studies VET teachers’ team learning. This interlinked project focuses on two main areas: 1) what influences team learning in VET teacher teams, and 2) does team learning lead to better team performance and educational outcomes? The PhD project of Machiel focuses on factors influencing team learning. More specifically, he examines whether organizational characteristics can stimulate or impede team learning. The organizational characteristics of interest are team-oriented human resource management (HRM) and formal (e.g. transformational) and informal (distributed) leadership.
In his studies he uses a combination of large scale survey data to identify and explain patterns and small scale qualitative interview data to provide rich descriptions of team learning, team-oriented HRM and leadership in schools.