Early Career Teachers’ Experiences of Developing Professional Knowledge - from research-based teacher education through five years in the profession

Jessica Aspfors, Gunilla Eklund, Sven-Erik Hansén


This study aims to explore early career teachers’ (ECTs’) experiences of professional knowledge developed during their research-based teacher education and throughout their first five years in the profession. This study uses Shulman’s (1986) framing of professional knowledge, which posits that teachers must have content knowledge, general pedagogical knowledge, and pedagogical content knowledge. Ten Finnish primary school teachers with five years of work experience participated in this study. The data was collected from individual interviews and analysed using qualitative content analysis. Three major areas of knowledge were identified that together distinguish ECTs’ professional knowledge: pedagogical and didactic, relational, and research-related knowledge. The results indicate that teacher education provides a solid foundation while the first five years of professional experience add to the teachers’ professional knowledge.

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