This paper introduces the four research papers in this paper set, which all derive from a European research project, STTIS (Science Teacher Training in an Information Society). The central concern of the project was to study curriculum innovations in science, and to investigate ways in which teachers transform these innovations when putting them into practice. This work led to the construction of appropriate teacher training materials for use when an innovation is being introduced. The paper describes the mutual research strategy agreed upon by the STTIS partners. Both to avoid repetition and to underline the understanding that the partners share about the issues involved in curriculum innovation and related teacher education, the main theoretical background and the review of literature relevant to all four papers is to be found here. Themes and conclusions common to all the papers are highlighted. The paper also outlines the common features of the approach the STTIS partners took toward the construction of teacher training materials. These materials build in concrete results from the research, in forms that provoke discussion and reflection aimed at making teachers more aware of their ideas and behavior, with a view to effecting lasting change. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Sci Ed89:1–12, 2005