more flexible and accessible replacement for it. A second-phase plan establishing a firm commitment for participants to report on a monthly basis to mentors was discussed by the mentors and the academic co-ordinator, and implemented for a final phase, from September to December. The second phase At the interim point (July), the problems faced by the project were serious ones but nevertheless progress had been made by a number of teachers. The priority seemed to be for that progress to be shared, and for the positive atmosphere and ‘energy’ established at the January workshop to be revived for the period leading up to final reports at year-end. A number of progress reports were uploaded to the new website during this period, and the Facebook group was quite active – certainly much more active than the Moodle had ever been. Towards the end of the second phase two further problems emerged which required resolution: ■■
The form of end-point reporting by teachers had not been sufficiently defined.
There were perceived needs for guidance regarding data analysis and ways of reporting data – topics that had not been covered in the January workshop.
Overall, however, the ‘teething problems’ mentioned above appear to have been overcome for those teachers who had kept in touch (almost without exception these teachers subsequently remained with us and submitted end-of-year reports). Indeed, as we shall see, by the end-point the participating teachers were reporting having gained important benefits, despite difficulties encountered along the way. Final presentations and written reports A total of 32 teachers took part in the final get-together in Santiago in January 2014, postponed from December 2013. Overall, 40 had made it through to this final point but eight were unable to attend. Teachers’ expectations had clearly been that the final report should be written up in academic style but we decided to attempt something different. Thus, an innovative, deliberately teacher-friendly approach was taken to presentation of reports – audio-recorded oral poster presentations, responded to by other teachers, were followed up by transcription of these oral reports as a further activity, during the second morning of the workshop itself. These ‘informal’ written versions were then critiqued by fellow participants, and further writing ensued, as a basis for wider dissemination. The advice we gave to keep both oral and written reporting relatively informal was our response to the two areas of concern which had emerged in the second phase, and to worries expressed by a number of participants in conversations with mentors regarding academic writing. In feedback on the workshop, participants said they particularly appreciated the staged, supported manner of presenting, first in groups of three, then pairs, then larger groups, and the collaborative process approach that had been adopted to writing up. A closer look at participants’ experiences The dominant challenge for participants – as revealed by the overall reflections they were encouraged to include in their final reports – had been lack of time. A representative viewpoint, balancing the positive benefits of teacher-research against this one major difficulty, was as follows:
| Teacher-research as continuing professional development
Published on Aug 29, 2014
Published on Aug 29, 2014
The publication, edited by David Hayes offers global perspectives on the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) of English language teach...