This study that explored student teachers’ learning experiences in initial teacher education (ITE) in relation to competence to work in schools. The findings demonstrate that the development of competence to work in schools was characterised by deep contextualised learning. The authors argue that student teachers’ development of competence to work in schools entails three facets. First, they need to learn about the organizational dimension of teachers’ work and develop understanding of the micro-political realities of schools.
Second, they should develop competence in social capital building which involves soliciting affective and cognitive support through establishing networks with multiple actors in schools. Third, the authors note that expanding one’s repertoire of social strategies helps foster a sense of agency in the face of institutional constraints.