University of Oulu

Kajamaa, A., Hyrkkö, S. (2022). Change Laboratory Method for Facilitating Transformative Agency and Collective Professional Learning – Case from a Finnish Elementary School. In: Goller, M., Kyndt, E., Paloniemi, S., Damşa, C. (eds) Methods for Researching Professional Learning and Development. Professional and Practice-based Learning, vol 33. Springer, Cham.

Change laboratory method for facilitating transformative agency and collective professional learning : case from a Finnish elementary school

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Author: Kajamaa, Anu1; Hyrkkö, Sakari2
Organizations: 1Faculty of Education, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: embargoed
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2022
Publish Date: 2024-08-31


The aim of our study is to enrich the current understanding of teachers’ collective professional learning and development by introducing a method called the Change Laboratory (CL), which is a participatory work development method based on theory of expansive learning. We present and empirically illustrate how the method was employed among a group of 12 teachers and a principal for facilitating transformative agency, and how it contributed to their collective professional learning and the development of new practices in the school. Our interactional video data consists of six CL meetings and a follow-up meeting held in an elementary school which operates as one of the pioneering university-level teacher training, research and development units in Finland. The CL provided the participants with research-assisted space and tools to collectively analyse and redesign their work activities. In a dialectical learning process, the CL first triggered the surfacing of problems and tensions in the school community, then supporting the conceptualisation of problems as stemming from systemic organisational contradictions, and eventually leading to the creation of novel solutions to resolve the contradictions and transform the school’s practices. Our analysis illustrates the significance of transformative agency for turning organisational contradictions as drivers for collective professional learning and development, in a bottom-up process of organisational renewal. Our findings also demonstrate the demands that such a collective process of professional learning poses for teachers, requiring continuous efforts and cultural change.

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Series: Professional and practice-based learning
ISSN: 2210-5549
ISSN-E: 2210-5557
ISSN-L: 2210-5549
ISBN: 978-3-031-08518-5
ISBN Print: 978-3-031-08517-8
Pages: 535 - 556
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-031-08518-5_24
Host publication: Methods for researching professional learning and development professional and practice-based learning : challenges, applications and empirical illustrations
Host publication editor: Goller, Michael
Kyndt, Eva
Paloniemi, Susanna
Damşa, Crina
Type of Publication: A3 Book chapter
Field of Science: 516 Educational sciences
Copyright information: © 2022 The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG. This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in M. Goller, E. Kyndt, S. Paloniemi & C. Damşa (Eds.) Methods for Researching Professional Learning and Development. The final authenticated version is available online at: