The school–university intersection as a professional learning arena: evaluation of a two-year action research project
This article presents the evaluation of a two-year action research project in biology and mathematics teaching involving a primary school and a university in Sweden. The aim of the study was to contribute knowledge about a school–university intersection as a professional learning arena. The teachers’ conceptions about the project implementation, the impact on their learning, teaching practices and pupil learning were made explicit by focus group interview. The evaluation revealed that several motivating factors in this specific learning community – the relevance of the project and connection to the continuing education course, mentors from university, planning tools and time for collaboration – were critical for project implementation and for professional learning to occur. Furthermore, it indicated how teacher learning and teaching practices were related to pupil learning in the professional learning community. The results are also discussed in the light of new research on teachers’ work identity and self-reported health.
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