Exploring teachers' will to learn

I.M. Van Eekelen, J.D. Vermunt, H. P.A. Boshuizen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

133 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, it is assumed that "a will to learn" must be present before teachers engage in actual learning activities. In order to explore teachers' will to learn in workplace situations, a small-scale qualitative study was conducted using a semi-structured interview, observation, a retrospective interview, and a phenomenographic approach to the analysis of the data. The results showed the following behaviors to be indicative of a will to learn among teachers: having the ambition to discover new practices, being open to experiences and other people, being pro-active, attribution of successes and mistakes to internal causes, question-asking after performance, undertaking action to learn, and recognition of learning processes and results. The results also showed three different manifestations of the will to learn to characterize the teachers studied here. The following groups of teachers could be distinguished: those who do not see the need to learn; those who wonder how to learn; and those who are eager to learn. The results of the present study contribute to fields concerned with teacher learning and the motivational aspects of learning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)408-423
Number of pages16
JournalTeaching and Teacher Education
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2006
Externally publishedYes


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