effects). What we found ourselves promoting, increasingly, was something innovative and teacher-friendly, whereby we approached teachers in a way that was not off-putting or overly academic. The initial difficulties experienced in mentoring and the over-reliance placed on a particular online platform can, we believe, be overcome in a future iteration of the project. Rather than asynchronous online communication, a strong need emerged in this context for face-to-face (including telephone or Skype) interaction and – possibly – for a degree of ‘closeness’ involving the mentor having shared similar experiences to those of the teachers. We are now looking forward to putting the insights we gained into practice in future iterations of the project, being better aware of the difficulties involved but also encouraged by reflections such as the following, which draw attention to the benefits for teachers – and, just as importantly, for students – of teacher-research as a form of CPD in this context, and perhaps in other, comparable settings: This was a very interesting process. Whereas it was long, I learned a lot about how I can manage my class results by considering students’ voices during the process. They opened my eyes about working collaboratively. It’s good to know that some problems’ solutions are just in your hands. For that Action Research is an essential tool. We should incorporate it in all of our professional activities, particularly the reflective process that this methodology involves. If we as teachers could have the time to reflect on our pedagogical process, our students’ achievements should be better every time. (Erika Diaz, final report) It is difficult to balance everything in our lives […] but the motivation and desire to continue, try and somehow become better teachers was what drove us to keep on going and working with the project. I truly believe many of us want to give our best and what we learned with this project left us happy. I am one of them. (Maritza Badilla, Facebook post)
References Allwright, D and Bailey, K (1991) Focus on the Language Classroom: An Introduction to Classroom Research for Language Teachers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Allwright, D and Hanks, J (2009) The Developing Language Learner: An Introduction to Exploratory Practice. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Atay, D (2008) Teacher research for professional development. ELT Journal 62/2: 139–147. Ávalos, B and Sotomayor, C (2012) How Chilean teachers see their identity. Perspectiva Educacional 51/1: 60–89. Barkhuizen, G (2009) Topics, aims, and constraints in English teacher research: A Chinese case study. TESOL Quarterly 43/1: 113–125. Borg, S (ed) (2006) Classroom Research in ELT in Oman. Muscat: Ministry of Education, Sultanate of Oman.
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...