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Professional Development and Learning


NB Language spoken in course is Dutch unless English-speaking students participate

Admission requirements

This course builds on the knowledge and skills acquired in the following Bachelor courses: Leraar: opleiden en ontwikkelen and Activerende leeromgevingen


Professional learning, regarded as the construction of knowledge related to work, is an issue of high importance in several professional domains at this moment, especially in the teaching profession but also elsewhere. The course focuses on several main streams of thought in the field of expertise development, the educational concerns and strategies to minimize gaps between education and work performance, and tries to link this to the area of professional development and the (collaborative) organization of work and learning processes.

A strong tendency among different disciplines toward a professional status (e.g., nurses and teachers) is nowadays being challenged by a movement in the opposite direction, i.e., the increased control over professional action under an accountability warrant. An increasing number of rules and regulations are being applied to the traditional professionals, many of them have left their independent status behind and often work in (interdisciplinary) teams with other professionals, employed by an organisation (hospital or a firm). Professionals are required to stay up-to-date in order to keep up to standards (the learning aspect) and comply to organizational measures that are taken to promote learning).

Course objectives

This course seeks to explore the teaching and training of, and learning by professionals prior to and during professional life. *The professional development of teachers will be studied as the main realm for which several conceptual aspects will be explored (achievement levels 3, 4);

It starts out by describing opposing theories and approaches that are prevalent in research and literature of expertise development (3, 4, 5);

  • A next step concerns establishing gaps and transitions, between school or training to work, and back, and ways to make gaps less deep and transitions easier (5, 6, 7);

  • The third goal deals with analyzing several aspects of professional life so as to construct artefacts that will enable to influence the conditions at work that promote or hinder further competence development, strategies of individual professionals to improve and stay up to date (6, 7, 8);

  • and critically appraise professional learning as part of competence development(7, 11).



Mode of instruction

Lectures, seminars, construction of artefacts.

Assessment method

  • Written exam

  • Paper

  • Oral presentation


During this course Blackboard will be used.

Reading list

  • Boshuizen, E., Bromme, R. & Gruber, H. (Eds.) (2003). Professional Learning. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers. ISBn 1-4020-2065-1.

  • Stoll, L. & Louis, K.S. (2007). Professional: Learning comunities, divergence, depth & dilemmas. London: Mc Graw Hill. ISBN 033522030-4.


Please note that separate uSis registration is mandatory for lectures, seminars, exam and re-exam.

  • Registration for the lectures of the course is possible as of two months through one week before the first lecture at the latest;

  • Registration for the seminars of the course is possible as of two months through one week before the first lecture at the latest;

  • Registration for the exam is possible as of two months through one week before the exam at the latest;

  • Registration for the re-exam is possible as of two months through one week before the re-exam at the latest.

Students who don’t register cannot attend classes or take the (re)exam.

Contact information

Co-ordinator of this course is dr. H. Tillema.