Mapping Workplace-related Teachers’ Informal Learning: A Review


January 1, 2023


This article is based on the assumption that much of human learning is caught not taught (Davies, 1998). People oftentimes learn informally in the workplace without being aware of this complex process. However, though much learning is informal and tacit, there has been very little emprical research on teachers’ informal learning in the workplace. Much attention, on the other hand, has been, and is still, given to formal learning. The aim of this study is to shift researchers, educationalists and stakeholders’ attention from teachers’ formal and structured learning to teachers’ informal workplace learning. It should be acknowledged, however, that formal and informal learning should not be viewed as dichotomized and mutually exclusive. They should instead be viewed as a continuum, equally important and complementary. The present systematic review of the literature shows that teachers’ informal learning is inextricably linked to the workplace and that teachers’ informal learning outcomes are context-related, which indicates that the workplace is profoundly complex. The review also shows that research on teachers’ informal learning, though limited, is primarily qualitative. This study ends up by calling for more research on teachers’ informal learning that employs mixed methods design with larger sample sizes.