Learning Teaching from Experience

Learning Teaching from Experience: Multiple Perspectives and International Contexts

by Viv Ellis

Viv Ellis is Professor and Head of Education at Brunel University, London, UK, and a Visiting Professor at Bergen University College, Norway. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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and Janet Orchard

Janet Orchard is a Senior Teaching Fellow in the Graduate School of Education at the University of Bristol, UK. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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Bloomsbury Academic, 2014
  • DOI:
  • ISBN:
    978-1-4725-1298-7 (hardback)

    978-1-4725-0991-8 (epdf)

    978-1-4725-0517-0 (epub)

    978-1-4725-9331-3 (online)
  • Edition:
    First edition
  • Place of Publication:
  • Published Online:
Learning Teaching from Experience
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What do teachers learn ‘on the job’? And how, if at all, do they learn from ‘experience’?

Leading researchers from the UK, Europe, the USA and Canada offer international, research-based perspectives on a central problem in policy-making and professional practice – the role that experience plays in learning to teach in schools. Experience is often weakly conceptualized in both policy and research, sometimes simply used as a proxy for ‘time’, in weeks and years, spent in a school classroom. The conceptualization of experience in a range of educational research traditions lies at the heart of this book, exemplified in a variety of empirical and theoretical studies. Distinctive perspectives to inform these studies include sociocultural psychology, the philosophy of education, school effectiveness, the sociology of education, critical pedagogy, activism and action research. However, no one theoretical perspective can claim privileged insight into what and how teachers learn from experience; rather, this is a matter for a truly educational investigation, one that is both close to practice and seeks to develop theory.

At a time when policy-makers in many countries seek to make teacher education an entirely school-based activity, Learning Teaching from Experience offers an essential examination of the evidence-base, the traditions of inquiry – and the limits of those inquiries.