Master's thesis - a tool for professional development. Newly qualified teachers' experiences of master's theses in research-based teacher education.
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionEklund, G. B. M., Aspfors, J. & Hansen, S.-E. (2019). Master's thesis - a tool for professional development. Newly qualified teachers' experiences of master's theses in research-based teacher education. Nordisk tidsskrift for utdanning og praksis, 13(2), 76-92. doi: 10.23865/up.v13.1973
This study aims to investigate teachers’ experiences regarding their master’s theses directly after finishing teacher education and after one year in the profession. Previous research exposes the field as problematising the relationship between teachers’ independent scientific work and their professional qualification. Healey’s (2005) model, characterising four distinctions between research and teaching, provides a frame for analysing the theoretical concepts used in the present study. In this empirical study, 18 teachers were interviewed twice, immediately after completion of teacher education and after one year in the profession. The qualitative content analysis results in three themes characterising the teachers’ experiences with their master’s theses, focusing on their learning experiences and their relation to the teaching profession. These themes are subject knowledge, research-related knowledge and self-knowledge. The results show that the master’s thesis can be perceived as a tool for developing teachers’ knowledge, yet there is a need to facilitate the integration of their knowledge into their daily work and its relevance for the school community.