Professional agency for learning as a key for developing teachers’ competencies?

Auli Toom, Kirsi Pyhältö, Janne Pietarinen, Tiina Soini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Downloads (Pure)


Teacher’s professional competencies have been discussed extensively in the literature, often linked to educational policy discourses, teaching standards, student learning outcomes, or the intended outcomes of teacher education. Extensive, but fragmented and loosely theoretically or empirically based lists of teacher competencies are provided without much clarification of how, when, and why teachers learn and identify the competencies they need. Teacher competencies and how they are related to the core of their work as thinking practice have been discussed extensively by a range of stakeholders. However, what is actually needed in order to attain such competencies has been less studied. This paper contributes to the gap in the literature on active and intentional learning of teacher competencies by elaborating the relationship between teacher competencies and professional agency for learning. Through this, our aim in this article is to provide a better understanding of the topic, both theoretically and empirically. Drawing on earlier research, we have elaborated on the relationships between a teacher’s professional competencies and agency for learning among pre-and in-service teachers. We also aim to answer the question: what characteristics of teacher education lead to student teachers becoming competent and agentic? Why should we focus on those features during pre-service teacher education and as part of a teacher’s career?.

Original languageEnglish
Article number324
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Learning
  • Professional development
  • Teacher competencies
  • Teacher education
  • Teacher’s professional agency

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • General Computer Science
  • Education
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Public Administration
  • Computer Science Applications


Dive into the research topics of 'Professional agency for learning as a key for developing teachers’ competencies?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this