Improving teacher learning: variation in conceptions of learning study


Guy Durden, (Department of Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment, Institute of Education, University College London, London, UK)



The purpose of this paper is to identify teachers’ conceptions of learning study in order to provide the basis for an application of phenomenography/variation theory (PVT) to the improvement of teachers’ learning about learning study.


A phenomenographic study based on semi-structured interviews with 18 beginner teachers of business and economics in England taking part in a learning study during their initial teacher education.


The study identified five conceptions of learning study and five associated critical aspects. Results raise questions about the relationship between the process and instructional design elements of learning study.


The study offers a framework for exploring differences in the quality of learning studies and the relationship between teacher conceptions of learning study and the degree of conceptual change in students in a learning study. It also enables facilitator/researchers to design and manage interventions to develop teacher understanding of learning study that are consistent with the principles of PVT.

Keywords: PhenomenographyLearning studyConceptionsTeacher developmentBeginner teachers

Type: Research paper

Publisher: Emerald Publishing Limited

Received: 06 September 2017

Revised: 20 October 2017

Accepted: 21 October 2017

Copyright:© Emerald Publishing Limited 2018
Published by Emerald Publishing Limited
Licensed re-use rights onlyCitation:Guy Durden, (2018) “Improving teacher learning: variation in conceptions of learning study”, International Journal for Lesson and Learning Studies, Vol. 7 Issue: 1, pp.50-61,

Downloads: The fulltext of this document has been downloaded 61 times since 2018
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