ISATT 2015

The dual role of teacher educators as practitioners and researchers


13-17 July 2015 - University of Auckland, New Zealand


Teaching for Tomorrow Today


Teacher educators internationally represent many types, and they can, to a large extent be said to be multifaceted, (Smith, 2011; European Commission, 2013).

Many teacher educators are head hunted into teacher education because of their teaching expertise, and when joining the institution of higher education they are also expected to be researchers. What do we know about developing research competence within the institutional teacher education staff? What do we know about developing research competence with colleagues who see themselves mainly as practising teachers of children?

This symposium offers four papers informing about various approaches to developing research competence among teacher educators in Canada, Turkey, The Netherlands, and in Norway. The discussant will add a USA perspective in her discussion.



European Commission (2013). Supporting teacher Educators for Better Learning.

Smith, K. (2011). The multi-faceted teacher educator - a Norwegian perspective. Journal of Education for Teaching, 37(3), 337–349.




Kari Smith, Norwegian University of Technology and Science and University of Bergen; Norway


Frances Rust, University of Pennsylvania, USA


Mandi Berry, Leiden University, The Netherlands and Buket Yakmacı-Güzel, Boğaziçi University, Turkey

Bert van Veldhuizen, Mascha Enthoven and Ron Oostdam, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences

Susan E. Elliott-Johns, Nipissing University, Canada

Kari Smith, Norwegian University of Technology and Science, Norway

Researcher as teacher educator: How does background influence perspective?



The professional learning of teacher educators has long been neglected in research on learning to teach. However, in the last decade, such teacher educator focused studies have been accumulating (Loughran ,2014). As a result, we know more about aspects such as the professional transition experiences of teacher educators, the types of issues they grapple with as they learn to teach teachers and their professional development needs. At the same time, most of these studies have been conducted about a particular type of teacher educator, the former classroom teacher who takes up a university based teacher educator position. Another type of teacher educator, the academic researcher who becomes teacher educator, has been largely overlooked in research. Typically, these individuals have limited (or no) experience in school teaching and yet are expected to prepare new teachers for this job (Berry & van Driel, 2013; Smith, 2011). This study reports the experiences of 16 academic researcher-teacher educators from 6 universities in Turkey. The study explores their transitions into the role, their aims, approaches and challenges in working with prospective teachers and their ideas about their professional needs. An interesting outcome of this study is the similarities between the approaches and needs of these teacher educators and their counterparts with school experience. Given that previous teaching experience in schools is often claimed as a vital prerequisite for the teacher educator role, this study raises the question of what are necessary prerequisites for teacher educators and how these might be effectively acquired.



Berry, A., & van Driel, J. H. (2013). Teaching About Teaching Science: Aims, Strategies, and Backgrounds of Science Teacher Educators. Journal of Teacher Education. 64(2), 117-128.

Loughran, J. (2014). Professionally Developing as a teacher Educator. Journal of Teacher Education, 65(4) 271-283.

Smith, K. (2011). The multi-faceted teacher educator - a Norwegian perspective. Journal of Education for Teaching, 37(3), 337–349.


Preparing teacher educators for guiding student research



Departments of teacher education in the Netherlands are increasingly involved in practice oriented research. Underlying this trend is the call for evidence based practice (National Research Council, 2005; Onderwijsraad, 2006) and the increasing evidence that doing research contributes to reflective practice (e.g. Committee Review Degrees, 2005). However, until recently most departments on teacher education didn’t have a well-defined vision on student research and teacher educators may feel insecure about their research competencies (Harrison & McKeon, 2010), and their competencies to guide students in doing research.

To overcome these problems our department developed a comprehensive vision on student research (Enthoven & Oostdam, 2014). Based on the intervention cycle (van Strien, 1997) different types of practice oriented research were distinguished in order to strengthen the focus of the student research.

To implement this vision and to strengthen their competencies all teacher educators were trained. We executed a monitoring research to monitor the implementation process. We used the method of the learner report (De Groot, 1974) to assess to what extent the teacher educators adopt the basics of the new vision and how their self-efficacy regarding guiding student research, develops. First results show that the teacher educators understand and apply the basics of the new vision, but that more interventions (such as intervision, doing research themselves) are needed to implement the new policies in a sustainable way.



Committee Review Degrees (2005) Bridging the gap between theory and practice; Possible degrees for a binary system. Den Haag; Ministerie van Onderwijs, Cultuur en Wetenschappen.

De Groot, A.D. (1974) Over fundamentele leerervaringen. Pedagogische Studiën, 51( 7), 329-349.

Enthoven, M. & Oostdam, R. (2014) De functie en zin van praktijkgericht onderzoek door studenten van educatieve hbo-opleidingen. Tijdschrift voor Lerarenopleiders, 35(3), 47-60.

Harrison, J., & McKeon, F. (2010) Perceptions of beginning teacher educators of their development in research and scholarship: identifying the ‘turning point’ experiences, Journal of Education for Teaching: International research and pedagogy, 36(1), 19-34.

National Research Council (2005). Advancing Scientific Research in Education. Committee on Research in Education. Lisa Towne, Lauress L. Wise, and Tina M. Winters, Editors. Center for Education, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

Onderwijsraad (2006) Naar meer evidence based onderwijs. Den Haag: Onderwijsraad

Van Strien, P. J. (1997). Towards a methodology of psychological practice the regulative cycle. Theory & Psychology, 7(5), 683-700.

Van Strien, P. J. (1997). Towards a methodology of psychological practice the regulative cycle. Theory & Psychology, 7(5), 683-700.


Developing research competence as teacher educators: The significance of attending to (academic) writing processes



With the personal/professional perspective of someone who moved to the academy later in my career as an educator, reflective practice enables me to better understand the influence of experience on the continuous work of my ‘being and becoming’ a teacher educator. Increasingly, it is recognized we cannot merely assume because someone has a teaching background and a Ph.D. that they will be an effective teacher educator and/or that the requirements for success as a teacher and researcher are going to automatically “fall into place”(Bullock, 2009). But what kinds of professional development are offered to support these experienced educators who are also ‘new’ teacher educators/scholars? More specifically, what assistance is available to navigate the complexities and challenges of academic writing?

I will specifically explore my experience of re-claiming a writing voice as a ‘new’ teacher educator in a faculty of education after many years as a practitioner in public school systems. The benefits of increased understandings of the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) became critical to (for the most part) my self-directed development as a writer, especially in overcoming obstacles encountered in writing successfully for academic audiences. Reflective inquiry on experience offered valuable insights into the struggles experienced in transitioning to sustained ‘scholarly’ writing for publication.

I argue this is not unfamiliar territory, and suggest there is much more that could be done to mentor and support ongoing development of the research work of new scholars and, particularly, their academic writing – especially those with ample teaching expertise turned ‘researchers’.



Bullock, S. M. (2009). Becoming a teacher educator: The self as a basis-for-knowing. In K. Pithouse, C. Mitchell & R. Moletsane (Eds.), Making connections: Self-study and social action (pp. 269-283). New York, NY: Peter Lang.


When dreams come true - a national Norwegian research school in teacher education



This is a story of how a dream developed into an idea which caught the interest of teacher education leaders. It was concretized and presented to the Research Council and Government, before being operationalized.

There is a claim in Norway (Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research, 2014), as elsewhere, that teacher education shall be research based, and that teacher educators must be supported in their professional development (European Commission, 2013). These reports are rather recent, yet the need for examining teacher educators’ professional knowledge and actions is not only driven by the politicians, it has developed from within the community of teacher educators. Loughran (2006) talks about the Pedagogy of Teacher Education, and Lunenberg et al. (2014) have published a review of accumulated research on teacher educators’ work and learning.

Influenced by these developments, NAFOL, Norwegian National Research School in Teacher Education, was planned for 6 years (2010-16) to support 80 teacher educators in completing a PhD. The purpose was to develop research based knowledge relevant to teaching and teacher education in Norway. Five years into the project NAFOL has 130 doctoral students, and the Government has officially announced that the funding will be secured for continuing NAFOL (Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research, 2014).

The theoretical foundations for NAFOL, alongside its social and educational benefits are discussed before the structure, organization and activities of NAFOL are presented. Documented achievements (number of graduates, publications by the candidates, range of research topics) are highlighted.

View presentation (PDF)



European Commission (2013). Supporting teacher Educators for Better Learning.

Loughran, J. (2006). Developing a Pedagogy of Teacher Education. Routledge: Abingdon, UK.

Lunenberg, M., Dengerink, J. & Korthagen, F. (2014). The Professional Teacher Educator- Roles, Behavior, and Professional Development of Teacher Educators. Sense: Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research (2014). Lifting the teacher, Joining forces for the knowledge school (Lærerløftet – På lag for kunnskapsskolen) (free translation by author).