This study aims to provide deeper insight into participants’ (e.g. school principals, teachers and student teachers) perceptions of the actual and preferred situation in terms of the context, process and outcomes of practice-based research through teachers-as-researchers at Dutch professional development schools. We interviewed eight school principals, 10 teachers, and six student teachers from four professional development schools in the Netherlands. A trend displayed across all types of participants was their focus on the context dimension of research. Moreover, respondents often focussed in rather general terms on the process of conducting teacher research within the school and the content of this research. A major difference exists between perceptions of the actual and preferred situation related to the effects of teacher research on pupils’ outcomes: despite the central focus of research on pupil learning and learning results, according to participants effects on pupil level were not (yet) reached at this moment. These results suggest that in Dutch professional development schools increased attention is needed both by researchers and practitioners on the process and outcome dimensions of doing teacher research.