The inservice-teacher-training in
Flemish schools: does practice
make a (more) perfect teacher?
A perspective on coaching and evaluating
Iris Snoeck and Elke Struyf
Institute for Education and Information Sciences (IOIW),
University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium
Purpose – The aim of this study is to analyse the experiences of student teachers and mentors
regarding in-service teacher-training or the “Learning in the Workplace Trajectory” (LIW) in Flemish
secondary schools. How is this trajectory perceived by mentors and student teachers, i.e. do their
individual expectations and capacities match with the formal guidelines implemented by the
teacher-training institutes (and how)?
Design/methodology/approach – This study investigates the LIW trajectory on a pragmatic level,
using qualitative research methods such as semi-structured interviews. The focus of this study is twofold:
coaching during the LIW trajectory and evaluation during and at the end of the LIW trajectory.
Findings – The majority of the respondents (mentors and student teachers) indicated that adequate
communication and partnership between school and teacher-training institute (on both organizational
and individual level) is essential for a successful trajectory. The challenges which both organizations
have to face in order to establish an effective partnership and to effectively guide future student
teachers towards their future profession, were made transparent: invest in intensive coaching and
install structural involvement of both school and institute during the trajectory.
Research limitations/implications – This study was limited to a qualitative methodology and
therefore has very few universal implications. Furthermore, this study originated from a practical
point-of-view, with no interest in ﬁnding new theoretical insights on workplace learning.
Social implications – This study shows that without sufﬁcient ﬁnancial and structural support
from the government, schools and teacher-training institutes are left facing the challenges (ﬁnding
ways to invest in and increase coaching the LIW student teachers and structural involvement in the
organization of the LIW trajectory of schools) on their own.
Originality/value – This study aimed to highlight the perspective of student teachers and mentors
– in other words to see this “Learning in the Workplace Trajectory” through their experience, as they
experience(d) it in order to get a look inside the daily practice of both LIW students and mentors
during coaching and evaluation.
Keywords Workplace learning, Inservice teacher-training, Qualitative research, Coaching,
Paper type Case study
1. The inservice-training in Flanders: a new LIW-trajectory for
The “learning-in-the-workplace” (LIW)-trajectory gives someone the opportunity to
start working as a teacher and simultaneously follow an on-the-job-learning-program
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at
Received 6 October 2011
Accepted 17 October 2011
Journal of Workplace Learning
Vol. 24 No. 4, 2012
q Emerald Group Publishing Limited