Student Teachers’ Key Learning Experiences – Mapping the Steps for Becoming a Professional Teacher

Elsi Ahonen, Kirsi Pyhältö, Janne Pietarinen, Tiina Soini


Teacher education provides the central forum for student teacher learning. Student teachers are advised to learn about teaching and undergo professional transformation during this instruction. However, research on student teacher learning often focuses on a certain time period and on how students should learn instead of analysing what are the actual key learning experiences of student teachers. In this study, 19 student teachers’ interviews are used to analyse key learning experiences during primary teacher education in a large city university’s MA programme. The results showed that students undergo several experiences during their studies, and that there are similarities with temporal and contextual location of the incidents and perceived learning outcomes. The results imply that teacher studies entail meaningful, positive and powering learning experiences as well as contradictory and negative learning experiences. Especially, in powering and positive learning experiences student teachers valued pedagogical action that simultaneously promoted their professional beliefs, knowledge and practice. The results also suggest that more attention should be paid to promoting student teachers’ active learning during education.


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International Journal of Higher Education
ISSN 1927-6044 (Print) ISSN 1927-6052 (Online) Email:

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