Experience, theory, and practical wisdom in teaching and teacher education

Mieke Lunenberg, Fred Korthagen

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In this contribution, we discuss what it means to be a professional teacher with practical wisdom, and how practical wisdom is related to theory and experience. These questions are especially relevant as nowadays, in many countries, teacher education becomes more school-based. Building on theories on the functioning of the human mind in general, and teacher behavior in particular, the notions of practical wisdom, theory, and experience are connected in a triangular model. We elaborate on the idea that each element can be an entry point for practices in teacher education, which brings discussion on the relationship between theory and practice in teacher education into a broader perspective. Several pedagogical approaches are discussed which help to link practical wisdom, theory, and experience within teacher education programs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-240
Number of pages16
JournalTeachers and Teaching: theory and practicePractice
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • experience
  • practical wisdom
  • professional development
  • theory


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