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Professional development of teachers and teacher education pedagogy

Fred Korthagen's research has focused on a number of related areas:

1. The professional development of teachers. Well-known is the three-level model of teacher learning (Gestalt, schema, theory).

2. The pedagogy of teacher education. Fred Korthagen and his colleagues developed the realistic approach to teacher education, and they carried out several research studies on the effects of this approach, published in international journals.

3. The promotion of reflection in teacher education. The ALACT model for reflection is now in use in almost all teacher education programs in the Netherlands, and in many other places internationally. The ALACT model describes the process of reflection, and the so-called onion model the content levels of reflection.

The ALACT model of reflection

The onion model (Full name: model of levels of change)

4. The professional development of teacher educators and the education of teacher educators

Already in the early 1990's Fred Korthagen and his colleagues developed an educational program for the development of teacher educators. Teaching teachers ('second order teaching') requires from educators many additional qualities compared with teaching in school ('first order teaching').

Online course on Core reflection in English

Face-to-face and online courses and workshops on reflection and on Core reflection have been given all over the world, for example in the Spring of 2021 for teacher educators in California. This workshop was organized by the Californian Association of School-University Partnerships (CASUP). The three days were spread over a period of a few months. The workshop was a great success, as shown by the extremely positive evaluations.
In the workshop sessions, the presentation of theoretical issues alternated with practical examples of coaching procedures. Interventions were practiced through real coaching situations created during the workshop along with mini-exercises, each focused on developing specific skills. The weeks between the three sessions were aimed at practicing and optional peer coaching on real teacher education situations.

Keynote speech for teacher educators in California

In October 2020, Fred Korthagen has given a keynote for teacher educators in California, at the CTTE conference (the California Council on Teacher Education). The theme of the keynote was Changing the pedagogy of teacher education: Promoting multi-level learning in teachers. Because of  the COVID-19 situation, Fred Korthagen worked online. It was an interactive presentation, through Zoom.

Keynote speech at the University of Oslo

The search for the Holy Grail: How teacher education can make a difference.
Keynote lecture by Fred Korthagen at the Bringing Teacher Education Forward Conference at the University of Oslo, 2016.

Bridging practice and theory


cover boek Linking Practice and Theory

Fred Korthagen's internationally renowned work on teacher education Linking practice and theory (2001) has been published in five languages.



This is a review study on teacher educators:
Lunenberg, M., Dengerink, J. & Korthagen, F. (2014). The professional teacher educator: Roles, behaviour, and professional development of teacher educators. Rotterdam/Boston/Taipei: Sense Publishers.

Read a review of The professional teacher educator (pdf)


Key articles

1. On the professional development of teachers: Download pdf

2. On the pedagogy of teacher education: Download pdf

3. On the promotion of reflection in teacher education: Download pdf

on the ALACT model: Download pdf
on the onion model - 1: Download pdf
on the onion model - 2: Download pdf

4. On the professional development of teacher educators and the education of teacher educators: Download pdf