Teaching, Learning and Motivation

Prof. Dr. Thamar Voss


Why do some teachers succeed better than others in designing cognitively activating learning environments and supporting their students? How can future teachers best be supported in their professional development?

We seek to answer questions like these by examining teachers’ professional competence from a pedagogical-psychological perspective. Teachers’ professional competence is described as a bundle of cognitive (e.g., professional knowledge and professional beliefs) as well as motivational-affective (e.g., motivation and self-regulation) aspects that are considered prerequisites for successful teaching. We investigate the assessment of professional competence, the importance of this competence for teachers’ professional success, and the development of this competence.

With our research, we aim, first, to contribute to accumulating reliable scientific knowledge about teachers’ professionalization. Second, we want to generate practically relevant knowledge that can be used in evidence-based practice and that can make a long-term contribution to the improvement of schools and teacher training. To achieve these objectives, we use a multi-method approach and combine longitudinal studies with quasi-experimental studies and experimental studies.

Research assistants

Nikolaus Bönke
Julia Kienzler

Former employees

Dr. Helene Zeeb