Swedish vocational teachers’ informal workplace learning during the initial phase of the COVID-19 crisis

Robert Holmgren* (Corresponding Author), Education in the North

*Corresponding author for this work

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As a result of the COVID-19 crisis, schools providing Vocational Education and Training (VET) around the world were largely forced to close and switch to Emergency Remote Teaching (ERT). This study deals with Swedish vocational teachers' informal workplace learning during the first three months of ERT. The purpose is to contribute knowledge about their informal workplace learning activities and the learning outcomes regarding professional knowledge about their teaching and the students' learning. Based on this purpose and theories of informal workplace learning, narratives were collected from 12 vocational teachers, of which 11 were written and one oral. The analysis of the narratives shows that the complexity of their work and their commitment to informal learning increased. The teachers' informal learning activities were characterised by increased collegial collaboration, increased reflection on the opportunities and limitations of ERT and increased creativity in problem solving. Furthermore, the analysis shows that the teachers' commitment to the social and practice-oriented informal learning activities contributed to increased pedagogical digital competence, expanded teaching repertoires, and an in-depth knowledge of the importance of learning environments for students' learning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-139
Number of pages20
JournalEducation in the North
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021


  • COVID-19
  • emergency remote teaching
  • vocational teachers
  • informal workplace learning


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