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Teacher expertise: how to improve the relationship between theory and practice in teacher education

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Teacher Expertise: How to improve the relationship between Theory and Practice in Teacher Education
Jens Rasmussen, Department of Education, Aarhus University

In several studies and reports it has been nailed over and over that teachers’ matter. So this is not the question in this study. The question is how teacher preparation leads to effective teachers. The study Expert in Teaching paid special attention to the intention of connecting coursework more directly to practice in pre-service teacher education. The overall objective of the study was to strengthen the relationship between theory and practice through development of better models for bridging the teaching at college and the internship teaching.

The study was a longitudinal research and development project that followed teacher students during their first three years of a four year teacher education program after the teacher education reform of 2007. The study included four teacher training colleges at two university colleges and about 100 students. In the reform and in the study focus was on professional development. Each of the colleges implemented a number of actions in order to see whether they had potential for bridging the gap between college and practice teaching. These actions were evaluated in relation to a two-dimensional framework of criteria for teacher expertise. One dimension consists of three different knowledge forms (scientific, professional, and practice knowledge), the other in the goals set in the national curriculum for teacher education.

The study found that actions such as a problem and empirical approach was especially successful because it to a high degree contributes to connect coursework directly to practice when both practices revolve around the same topic or problem. But the study also showed that the three parties (college teachers, practice teachers and teacher students) found it difficult to perform and maintain their different roles.
Original languageEnglish
Publication year2014
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventWERA-IRN Teacher Education Symposium 2013 - National Institute of Education (NIE), Singapore, Singapore
Duration: 27 Sep 201328 Sep 2013


ConferenceWERA-IRN Teacher Education Symposium 2013
LocationNational Institute of Education (NIE)

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