Six Teacher Tasks

The Teaching and Learning Collection is structured around six teacher tasks. These teacher tasks are the result of a systematic review in which 46 frameworks from around the world were analyzed and synthesized (van Dijk et al., 2020). The UU vision on these teacher tasks (Utrechts Onderwijs Model) are collected in this Introduction to the six Teacher Tasks:


Figure 1. Teacher Tasks, Van Dijk (2020)

1. Teaching and supporting learning

2. Educational Design

3. Assessment and Feedback

4. Educational leadership and management

5. Educational scholarship and research

6. Reflection and professional development





Teaching and supporting learning concerns guiding the learning process through learner-teacher interactions to achieve learning goals. This includes formal learning goals as well as learning goals of learners. Teaching and supporting learning may happen in a variety of formats, including lectures, small group sessions, supervision and mentoring.

Educational design concerns the development of goals, content, structure, activities and materials for education and combining these into a coherent whole. Educational design happens at different levels: from single lesson to an entire curriculum (see Figure 1). Educational design also relates to subjects such as learning trajectories, blended learning and co-creation. These subjects are or can be linked to all levels of educational design. Below two central concepts in education design are discussed as well as the vision of Utrecht University.

Assessment and feedback concerns the design, construction, execution and evaluation of assessment of learning and performance.

Educational leadership and management concerns how teachers exert intentional influence on education through their relationships with others. Teachers do this in many ways:

  • Engages with relevant stakeholders
  • Organises, coordinates and manages education and all resources involved
  • Engages in evaluations of education, quality assurance, accreditations, and audits
  • Participates and contributes to education-related committees and fora
  • Supports, mentors, and promotes colleague teachers’ professional development.
  • Influences, establishes and implements policies and culture
  • Initiates, leads and implements educational change and innovation.
Educational scholarship and research includes acquiring an understanding of educational theories and models and applying these to teaching practice. It also includes inquiry into own or local teaching practice (also referred to as scholarship of teaching and learning) as well as (discipline-based) educational research. The difference between these two is outlined below. Finally, sharing and disseminating knowledge, experience, innovation and research is also part of this teacher task.

Developing yourself professionally as a teacher thus is important. If you take time to reflect on your teaching, alone or with others, teaching becomes easier and more enjoyable. If you attend workshops on education or qualification tracks, (like BKO, SKO or LOL) you not only develop your teaching competencies, but also meet like-minded colleagues and thus develop your network.