Biannual Earli Sig14 conference on Professional Learning and Development was held at the University of Regensburg, Germany. The conditions were most favorable to the participants: a warm, sunny weather welcomed us to this beautiful old town with a nice walking distance from the Uni.


A bit more than 120 participants gathered together to discuss the topics related to professional learning and development in various environments and settings. Since we have been active participants in the Sig for many years – and Anneli being one of the originators – we were also looking forward to meet many friends and colleagues.

The themes of leadership practices, learning in work contexts, emotions and agency were present in the conference program: in the keynotes, paper and poster presentations as well as in the round table discussions.

The presentations we gave were closely related to the themes emerging during the conference, they were also interested many people. The poster on REAL-project (The role of emotions on agentic learning)  was presented by Anneli and gained a lot of interest – both for the contents and the methodology to be used in the study. Mixed method approaches, physiological measurements, and using of various applications in research purposes seem to be emerging.

Thus, the research design under construction in REAL really is topical.


It was also nice to hear supportive comments and new insights related to the development of practical tool for measuring professional agency in working life contexts as well as educational context. The discussions with distinguished scholars strengthened our path of research process: the qualitative research conducted over many years is now rewarding us also in terms of constructing of quantitative research instruments. It was also nice to discuss the opportunities to collect new research data via this instrument with the colleagues from the other countries.

Besides interesting discussions and new insights the Regensburg conference offered us meetings with friends, sunny and cozy atmosphere in historical surroundings – not to forget inspiring tastes of Bayern food, drink and traditions. Not forgetting shopping! 😉

Next time, the conference will be held in Geneva. By that time REAL will provide colleagues new insights and findings on the role of emotions in professional learning in working life.

Susanna Paloniemi, Senior Researcher,

Katja Vähäsantanen, Senior Researcher,

P.S. Here you can find our presentation’s slides!

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