Experienced teachers' informal learning from classroom teaching

Authors A. Hoekstra , M. Brekelmans , Fred A.J. Korthagen , D. Beijaard
Published in Teachers and Teaching
Publication date 22 March 2007
Type Article


The purpose of this paper is to explore how experienced teachers learn informally, and more specifically, how they learn through the activities they undertake when teaching classes. Regarding these activities we studied four aspects: behaviour, cognition, motivation and emotion. During one year, data were collected through observations of and interviews with four experienced teachers. For the analysis we used Eraut’s distinction into three types of learning which differ in the degree of consciousness that is involved. We found several activities that represented each of these types of learning. The findings demonstrate how cognitive, affective, motivational and behavioural aspects are interrelated in classroom teaching and that learning from classroom teaching occurs at several levels of awareness. Hence, we argue that a theory of teacher learning should account for activities involved in the alignment of behaviour to plan and for the role of motivation and emotion. The findings suggest that fruitful development of the quality of teaching requires more attention for the relation between teachers’ cognition, emotion, motivation and behaviour, and for promoting teachers’ awareness of their implicit beliefs and behavioural tendencies.

Language English
Published in Teachers and Teaching
Year and volume 13 2
Key words Learning Theories, Informal Education, Motivation, learning processes, Interviews, Observation, teachers, Educational Quality, Beliefs, Foreign Countries, Data analysis
Digital Object Identifier 10.1080/13540600601152546
Page range 191-208