Teacher expertise and how it develops during teachers' professional lives

Jan van Tartwijk, Esther van Dijk, Johan Geertsema, Manon Kluijtmans, Marieke van der Schaaf

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterProfessional


The concept of “expertise” encompasses the knowledge, skills, and characteristics of individuals that determine the quality of their task performance. In this article, the nature of teacher expertise and its development are discussed from a cognitive-psychological perspective. The concepts of adaptive and routine expertise are used to explore the differences between teachers who respond well to changes, and teachers who have a set of core competencies that they apply throughout their lifetime with ever-increasing efficiency, but struggle to adapt to change. Activity theory is introduced as an alternative perspective for a cognitive psychological perspective.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of Education
Subtitle of host publicationFourth Edition
EditorsRobert J Tierney, Fazal Rizvi, Kadriye Ercikan
PublisherElsevier Science
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9780128186299
ISBN (Print)978-0-12-818629-9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022


  • Activity theory
  • Adaptive expertise
  • Deliberate performance
  • Deliberate practice
  • Reflection
  • Routine expertise
  • Stage theories
  • Teacher development
  • Teacher education
  • Teacher expertise


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