Research in Professional Development and Teacher Training

This research is understood as profiling at the faculties of education. The processes of professional development from a novice teacher up to an expert teacher, the possibilities of supporting these processes, and the influence of the contextual variables on these processes are examined. The development of a teacher’s professional competence is observed in the following areas: with an emphasis on the development of didactic knowledge of content and professional perception.

Modern pedeutology has been developing since the 20th century as a distinct pedagogical discipline, and in the last thirty years it has been experiencing dynamic development. This is due, among other things, to the new demands placed on the teaching profession regarding socio-cultural changes. Professionalisation of teaching is becoming a key trend. It is characterized by emphasis on professional knowledge, which is based on contemporary theory and research results, on professional values, clearly formulated professional ethics and finally on a high degree of professional autonomy of teachers. The “new” professionalism of the teacher builds on the construct of professional competence; its core is the skill of reflection and self-reflection, which are considered a condition of professional development.

Does a Teaching Profession Go Through a Crisis?

However, based on the results of the research, it seems that teaching in the Czech Republic remains at the level of a semi-profession. There is even talk of a tendency towards deprofessionalisation, of teaching in crisis. Research shows the specific shortcomings of teachers regarding the quality of teaching and perceives them as signs of teacher unprofessionalism and incompetence in relation to new demands. What causes this situation?

Obstacles to Professionalism

There are many obstacles on the way towards professionalism; generally, problems lie within and outside the profession itself, in educational politics (insufficient support of teachers in their changing roles, legislature, missing system elements for supporting the teacher’s quality – the quality standard, career system, etc.), in theory and research. There is a lack of acceptance of professional autonomy and responsibility, low professional self-esteem, stereotypes and conservatism in the concept of a profession and self-concept.  

Objectives of IRSE

The objective of IRSE regarding teacher professionalisation is to focus on developing the concept linking the theory of the teaching profession and practice. Next, we try to understand the character and processes of professional learning, i.e. the development of a teacher’s professional competence. We follow the model of reflective practice and the constructivist (respectively social constructivist) paradigm, bearing in mind paradigmatic pluralism and respecting cultural and social particularities. Sharing the results with teachers and getting to know the “language of practice” is particularly important.

Journey Towards the Goal – Research on Expertise

One of the specific ways to solve these objectives should be the research of professionalism in teaching profession, its nature and the determiners of its development.  IRSE aims at framing the concept of supporting the processes of a teacher’s professional development and its instruments, i.e. optimization of sources of support, strategies and types of interventions including virtual reality (see the video website).  

Application Overlap

In the application overlap of our research in preparatory teacher training and further teacher training we aim at elaborating on new concepts and tools for teachers’ professionalism. In research in teaching profession, IRSE can build on a relatively long tradition and draw on studies focused on a teacher’s crucial skills, their acquisition and development, monitoring and evaluation related to the preparatory teacher training. The current activities of IRSE focus on crucial aspects of professional competence, its conceptual framework and implementation in the theory of a teacher profession as well as its practical application. It concerns research in pedagogical content knowledge, reflective practice, expertise in a teaching profession a video web development as a tool for the support of professional teacher training. The aim of IRSE activities in the coming period is to map methodology and results of research in expertise in a teaching profession and objective and subjective determinants of its development while applying the gradation approach (from a novice teacher to an expert teacher). Next, it concerns elaboration of the methodology for supporting the professional development of teachers – observation, more generally disciplinary pedagogical mentoring. 


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