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Early Career Teachers Professional Agency Across Four European countries. Key for Sustainable Educational Change?

The study aims to gain better understanding on the imperatives of active and intentional early career in-service teacher learning by exploring early-career in-service teachers professional agency and its regulators across the four European countries (Finland, Sweden, UK and the Netherlands) providing different types of environments for early career teacher learning. The project will provide new knowledge on  A) the dynamics of early career teachers sense of professional agency in the classroom and in the professional community, B) association between the teachers sense of professional agency, perceived working environment fit, experienced burnout and risk of attrition, C) differences/similarities on experienced agency, perceived fit, burnout and risk of attrition across the countries. Altogether 2000 teacher are participating to the research.


The sustainable societal change is affected particularly by teacher learning, not only through teaching the future citizens, but also through their involvement in school development and, finally, in building educational systems that facilitate democracy. In practice, this means that active and intentional teacher learning both in the classroom and in the professional community is a key for enhancing both positive school and societal development. The early years of teaching are often highly influential in terms of career trajectories.  

Understanding invariant determinants and key processes of teacher learning can be transformed for novel pre- and in-service education initiatives across countries, which are highly needed. The project will produce validated instruments for evaluating the situation of ECTs in different countries and follow-up the measures for developing teaching careers.A central practical impact of our research project is bridging teacher learning during pre-service teacher education, working life and contemporary societal change.

Funding source

Academy of Finland

Contact persons

Tiina Soini-Ikonen

Research Director / PI

tiina.soini-ikonen [at]

+358 40 190 9753