25 jun

The 12th International Conference on Conceptual Change [afgelast]

Given the forecast of the pandemic to still be prevalent into summer and possibly even fall and beyond and the travel uncertainties, we have decided to cancel the planned conference in Zwolle.

"Learning with Conceptual Change in Working Life and Teacher Education"

25 - 27 June 2020,
Zwolle, Netherlands

Windesheim University of Applied Sciences in Zwolle (The Netherlands) and the University of Klagenfurt (Austria) and the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI) are proud to announce the 12th International meeting of the Conceptual Change Special Interest Group (SIG 3).

This will be hosted by Windesheim University of Applied Sciences in Zwolle from June 25st until June 27th 2020. The theme of the conference is "Learning with Conceptual Change in Professional Working Life and Teacher Education."

About Conceptual change theory

Conceptual change theory is a theoretical framework that describes learning and the acquisition of knowledge as a slow, stepwise transformation of what we already know. It started in the 1980’s as a mainly cognitivist approach (most science teachers probably remember the work by Posner et al., 1982) but in the research of the next decade it became more and more clear that such unilateral cognitive approach needed more. In 1993, Paul Pintrich considered how motivation, self-efficacy, value, control, believe and classroom contexts influences conceptual change (Pintrich etal. 1993). This led to a strand of research on the role of emotion and teachers’ beliefs of learning in knowledge acquisition. Therewith conceptual change theory now has grown into one overall, broad research program describing knowledge building from different perspectives. 

From the beginning, the majority of research on conceptual change has been conducted in education and a lot of pedagogical studies reported nowadays, have conceptual change as their theoretical underpinning. Searching for ‘conceptual change’ and your subject area in any research literature data base supplies a variety of classroom studies in school and college physics, chemistry, biology, history, geography and economics and to a lesser degree in the languages. 

Conceptual change and Teacher Education

Conceptual change during the school years has been a central topic in the learning sciences for the last 20 years. However, with the social changes of the last decades, the need for lifelong learning has grown, and with it the need to change conceptions throughout one’s professional career. At this upcoming sig conference, we want to focus on conceptual change in teacher education – initial teacher education and continuing teacher education – and post-secondary education in general. What do we know and what can we say about adult professional learning? 

There has been a longstanding awareness that pre-service teachers and in-service teachers sometimes need to change beliefs about teaching to further develop as teachers; de Bruyckere, Kirschner and Hulshof (2015) compiled “urban myths about learning and education”, which teacher educators frequently encounter in their classrooms. Conceptual change theories seem uniquely suited to explore these issues from a psychological point of view. 

In the last decades, various studies have made use of conceptual change research to investigate challenges in professional development. At this conference, we want to look at these studies and start a discussion: What do the findings in teacher education and professional development mean for conceptual change research? How does conceptual change look like for adults? How can we think about conceptual change across the life-span? Are the factors that influence conceptual change the same for professionals as they are for younger students? 

Call for papers

For this conference meeting, EARLI SIG 3 invites researchers and practitioners to submit theoretical and empirical research papers, that discuss learning with conceptual change after (secondary) school, in teacher education and the professions.

In addition to the conference theme, we of course warmly welcome papers on any aspect of conceptual change – to continue or start new conversations in the field. 

Submission information

Regardless of the type of contribution, we ask you to provide a (max.) 250 word abstract for inclusion in the abstract booklet (including references), and an for papers extended summary of 1000 words (max) for the reviewing process (including references), preferably in Word-format. We also ask you to provide up to three keywords which describe your contribution. If you need to include graphs or complex tables, you may upload them as file attachments.

For symposia, we ask you to submit each paper of the symposia as an individual paper, and a 250 words framing statement by the symposium organizer. The main difference in the submission process is that as a symposium organizer you choose "symposia organizer" as the presentation type, as a contributor in the symposium you choose "symposium paper". 

Abstracts and papers can be submitted within the submission form, see under Registration below.


If you choose to submit a paper, we also ask you whether you would be willing to participate in the review process as a reviewer. We understand that you might not be able to commit, but we appreciate those who do. Of course we don’t know yet the number of papers that will be submitted but we strive for each reviewer having 2 to 3 papers.

Review criteria for all types of submissions

For empirical projects, the synopsis should include a clear statement of the research questions motivated by a brief review of the relevant literature, description of the research methodology, a summary of main research findings and conclusion pointing out the significance of the research findings with possible implications for theory and practice. 

For theoretical projects, the synopsis should include a clear statement of the theoretical problem motivated by a brief review of the relevant literature, an account of the theoretical proposal being made clarifying the novel contribution of this particular project, and a conclusion that addresses empirical research that could test the validity of the theoretical proposal, implication of this work for further theory development and/or implications for practice.

In brief, contributors should pay special attention to the following criteria:
Relevance to the domain of conceptual change and/or teacher education
Significance for theoretical debate
Theoretical framework, conceptual rationale or pragmatic grounding
Embeddedness in relevant literature
Research method and design (research questions, context, participants, data sources, sampling, procedure)
Clarity and robustness of theoretical argument
Overall quality and scientific originality 

Paper sessions and Symposia

Symposia and Paper sessions are scheduled for 90 minutes, in which 3 to 4 papers are presented and discussed. Presentation time is 15-20 minutes maximum. The chair will monitor the time and signal when 5 minutes (yellow card) and 1 minute (red card) are left. After each presentation, there are 5-10 minutes for clarification questions and discussion.

In symposia the discussant will start the discussion by pointing out commonalities/differences in the papers (they have received and read the final versions), and possibly raising final points for discussion with the presenters and the audience.

Each paper session room will be equipped with a beamer + PC + internet access. Please bring your presentation on a usb stick, or e-mail it to no later than June 20th.

Poster presentations

The poster session is scheduled for 45 minutes. Fixation materials for posters will be provided. The poster can be either portrait or landscape format (portrait preferred).
Posters will also be presented to the audience. Each presenter will have 5 minutes to present and there will be 2-3min for questions. The chair will monitor the time and signal with a red card when one minute is left.

Discussion session

A discussion session can be 45 or 90 minutes. Please mention your topic in the submission form and upload a 250 words abstract with the context, statements and questions for your discussion and a brief description on how you would like the session to be organised.


Conference Program

Preconference workshop

Prior to the conference, Prof. Em. Fred Korthagen offers a two hour active workshop for a limited number of teacher educators and people interested: 

A recurring question in teacher education is how to connect theory and practice. When working with groups of student teachers it seems attractive to present theory, with the aim that the student teachers can apply this theory in their classroom activities. However, research on teacher behavior shows that they seldom use this theory in their practices. Moreover, student teachers often complain that they are not well prepared for the real problems they encounter in practice. In this pre-conference workshop we will investigate the causes of this gap between theory and practice. We will also deal with the question of how group meetings in teacher education can be arranged in such a way that theory is integrated with practical experiences and how these experiences can be deepened thorough collaborative reflection. Building on the so-called realistic approach to teacher education (Korthagen et al., 2001), we will work with a five-step procedure (for the Dutch participants: the VESIt-model). We will have hands-on experiences with this procedure, which leads to effective student teacher learning (Tigchelaar & Korthagen, 2004).

Korthagen, F.A.J., Kessels, J., Koster, B., Lagerwerf, B. & Wubbels, T. (2001). Linking practice and theory: The pedagogy of realistic teacher education. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
Tigchelaar, A. & Korthagen, F.A.J. (2004). Deepening the exchange of student teaching experiences: Implications for the pedagogy of teacher education of recent insights into teacher behaviour. Teaching and Teacher Education, 20(7), 665-679.

Keynote speakers

Prof. Em. Fred Korthagen


Too often professional change, for example in teachers, has been framed as a process of conscious, rational learning. The reality is that professional change is a complex process involving unconscious and non-rational factors at several levels. Based on extensive research, Fred Korthagen presents an integrative framework for describing the sources of professional behavior and learning. It leads to practical guidelines for effective pre-service and in-service teacher education, and shows that often the key factor for productive change in teachers is a deliberate change in teacher educators’ practices. The guidelines are also helpful for conceptual change in other professions.

Fred Korthagen is a professor emeritus of Utrecht University, the Netherlands. His academic fields are the professional development of teachers and teacher educators, the pedagogy of teacher education, and coaching. He published numerous articles and books on these topics in nine languages. He received awards for his publications from the American Educational Research Association (AERA), the Association of Teacher Educators (ATE), and the International Study Association on Teachers and Teaching (ISATT). In 2015, he became Fellow of AERA, as an acknowledgment for the quality of his research and its impact on practice.

Prof. Dr. Katja Maaß, University of Education, Freiburg, Germany

Inquiry-based learning and connections to the world of work: Conceptual change of mathematics and science teachers.

It is challenging for mathematics and science teachers to change their classroom practice from being an instructor to being a facilitator. Whilst the instructor attempts to directly teach procedures for solving specific, narrowly defined types of tasks (focus on procedures), the facilitator supports students’ development of both conceptual understanding and procedural fluency, their use of multiple representations, their ability to develop and critique arguments, and so forth (focus on competences).

Under which circumstances does such conceptual change happen in day-to-day teaching? Which factors support or hinder conceptual change? The presentation draws on research carried out in different European projects, in which more than 10 countries took part. The research explicitly investigated the effects of long term professional development courses on mathematics and science teachers in their day-to-day teaching as well as related influencing factors.

Dr. Christa Asterhan. Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel

Invited Symposium

Organiser and Chair:  Stella Vosniadou, Flinders University (Adelaide, Australia)

Papers to be presented:

Teachers' Misconceptions About Learning Strategies: Analyses and Interventions
Alexander Renkl & Inga Glogger-Frey
University of Freiburg (Germany)

Teachers’ conceptions of learning and teaching
Cecilia Lundholm,
Department of Humanities and Social Science Education, Stockholm University

Design teaching – belief change in students and teachers
Elise van Dooren, Els Boshuizen, Thijs Asselbergs, Machiel van Dorst & Jeroen van Merriënboer
Technical University Delft (Netherlands), University of Turku (Finland),  Open University (Netherlands), Maastricht University (Netherlands)

Pre-service Teachers’ Beliefs, Study Strategies and Academic Performance
Stella Vosniadou, Flinders University (Australia)

Important dates

October 1, 2019: Opening call for Papers
January 6, 2020: Closure for paper submission (Extended date: 16 february, 2020)
April 16, 2020: End of the review process, information about acceptance
April 26, 2020: End of early registration
May 10, 2020:  Ultimate date for registration to have your paper scheduled in the program
June 25, 2020 Start of the conference

Conference fees and payment

  Early registration Late registration
EARLI Member in 2020170,-200,-
Non-Earli Member €200,-230,-
JURE Member in 2020100,-115,-
Students (Non-JURE)*130,- €140,-

Location / Venue

Windesheim University of Applied Sciences, X-building, Campus 2, Zwolle, The Netherlands. We strongly recommend to book hotel accommodation early as rates will be going up towards June.

How to get to Windesheim?


We strongly recommend to book a hotel accommodation early as rates will be going up towards June. We've got some special deals for you from the hotels. Check them here:

Pillows Grand Hotel Ter Borch, 1,6 km from Windesheim, €200,00, breakfast included.
Mercure Zwolle, 2,5 km from Windesheim, €107,00 (single) or €127,00 (double), breakfast included.
Grand Hotel Wientjes, 1,6 km from Windesheim, € 122,00 (single), € 132,50 (double), breakfast €17,50.
Campanile Zwolle, 3 km from Windesheim, €77,50 (single), breakfast included.
Hotel Lumen Zwolle, 7,3 km from Windesheim, €109,00, breakfest included.
Hotel Fidder, 1,6 km from Windesheim, € 100,00 (single), 110,00 (double), breakfast included.
Hotel Van der Valk Zwolle, 9,7 km from Windesheim, € 115,00 (single), € 125,00 (double), breakfast included

About Windesheim

Windesheim is one of the Netherlands' top-3 universities of applied sciences, known for its personal approach, small classes (15-20 students) and for working closely with the business community and public institutes. With well over twentyfive thousand full-time and part-time students and more than two thousand staff at sites in Zwolle and Almere, Windesheim is one of the largest universities of applied sciences in the Netherlands. We are a broad-based institute that offers a wide range of accredited Bachelor's degree courses.

Read more about research Educational Innovation and ICT



For all questions about Earli 2020, you can get in touch by Erik Meij, earli2020@windesheim.nl

City of Zwolle

Windesheim’s main campus is based in Zwolle, a welcoming, lively city at only a one-hour drive from Amsterdam. The city is well known for its beautiful and cosy medieval city centre, with lots of cafés, restaurants, parks and shops. There are many cultural activities, including music and cultural festivals, theatre shows, movies, museums and a wide variety of sports events. Zwolle has reasonable prices for living expenses and once you’ve learned how to ride a bike, it's easy to get around. With a population of around 125,000, Zwolle is an important economic hub in the region.