Student teachers’ conditions for professional learning on and across the learning arenas of teacher education

A theoretically grounded account


  • Finn Daniel Raaen Oslo Metropolitan University
  • Kirsten Elisabeth Thorsen Oslo Metropolitan University



student teachers, learning on and across learning arenas, tensions, coherence


Teacher education is supposed to be able to offer student teachers professional learning that will enable them to deal with the academic and social needs they may be confronted with in school. This calls for teacher education based on a coherent and meaningful division of labour between the learning activities that take place on campus and in placement schools. This has proved difficult to achieve. Research shows a significant gap in the way teacher education is organised. The purpose of this article is to contribute to the development of a theoretically grounded account of the so-called “theory-practice” gap in teacher education, which can move us beyond the simple dichotomies that currently seem to annoy much research and practitioners’ interest in this field. We argue that achieving such an account will require the expansion of more equal and mutually negotiated professional learning in teacher education, that can contribute to enhancing student teachers’ professional learning, on and across the various learning arenas of teacher education. We seek to achieve this objective by following a theoretical line of inquiry, supported with empirical data. Our theoretical rationale is based on socio-cultural learning theory, where coherence, transboundary translation, and re-contextualisation are important subordinate theoretical-analytical terms.


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Author Biography

Finn Daniel Raaen, Oslo Metropolitan University

Finn Daniel Raaen
Professor Emeritus, Dr Philos, Centre for the Study of Professions, Oslo Metropolitan University
PO box 4 St. Olavs plass
NO-0130 Oslo, Norway
Phone: +4795995787 (mobile), +4767235363 (office)
* Corresponding author

Kirsten Elisabeth Thorsen
Professor, Faculty of Education and International Studies, Department of Primary and Secondary Teacher Education, Oslo Metropolitan University
PO box 4 St. Olavs plass
NO-0130 Oslo, Norway
Phone: +4792631183 (mobile), +476723743 (office)
* Co-author


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How to Cite

Raaen, F. D., & Thorsen, K. E. (2020). Student teachers’ conditions for professional learning on and across the learning arenas of teacher education: A theoretically grounded account. Nordic Journal of Comparative and International Education (NJCIE), 4(3-4), 105–116.