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5 Teacher-research as continuing professional development: a project with Chilean secondary school teachers Richard Smith, Tom Connelly and Paula Rebolledo Introduction The ‘Champion Teachers’ project described in this chapter was funded by the British Council in Chile and endorsed (patrocinado) by the Chilean Ministry of Education (PIAP/Mineduc). The project was initially conceived by Tom Connelly (British Council Chile) and was managed with advice from Richard Smith (University of Warwick, UK). The third author of this chapter, Paula Rebolledo, was increasingly also involved as an adviser to the project, and, from half-way through, was employed as a mentor to some of the secondary school teachers involved, taking up this role alongside Catherine Thomas, Kevin Towl and Anne Westmacott – all university teachers in Chile – who had been selected as mentors before the project began. The project ran from January to December 2013. The project’s main objectives were to encourage and support a cohort of secondary school English teachers in Chile in (1) identifying problematic issues or ‘puzzles’ as well as successes in their practice, and (2) designing and carrying out small-scale classroom research projects to develop a better understanding of those issues and find practical solutions to them. Another explicit goal was to develop the project co-ordinators’ own understanding of the feasibility of promoting teacher-research as a means of professional development in the Chilean secondary school context, with a view to further possible iterations of the project. We treated this as a pilot project, which, given its innovative nature, could potentially have wider implications for in-service teacher development in Chile but also beyond – in other Latin American countries, and in contexts further afield. 8


For more on the initial intentions and hopes we had for the project see the 10-minute video and link to further information here: For further background and reports connected with the project (including teachers’ own interim and final reports), see:

Teacher-research as continuing professional development |


Innovations in the CPD of English language teachers  
Innovations in the CPD of English language teachers  

The publication, edited by David Hayes offers global perspectives on the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) of English language teach...