EVO 2023

In January and February 2023 Seden Eraldemir Tuyan (Cağ University, Turkey), together with Ana Garcia Stone, Ruben Mazzei, Mariana Serra and Richard Smith, led a series of weekly input sessions and discussions using Zoom and Canvas on how to mentorteacher-research, as part of the TESOL CALL-IS Electronic Village Online (EVO) initiative. As in 2020 and 2022, this was supported by IATEFL Research SIG, The EVO ran from January 9th to February 12th. [It’s likely the EVO will be repeated in Jan–Feb. 2024: please join our Facebook group to keep informed (see ‘About’ above).]

​We welcomed participation by new and experienced / returning mentors of teacher-research alike, as a main purpose of the EVO was to (continue to) build a community of mentors of teacher-research worldwide. For those who wish to network around issues in teacher-research mentoring, we also recommended joining our Facebook group (see ‘About’). 

You can watch a recording of the presentation Richard and Seden gave about the previous (2022) EVO on Mentoring teacher-research in April 2022. 

Why this EVO?
Teacher-research can be a powerful process, having a profound impact on teachers and learners. There are now quite a few resources on classroom-based research which are easily available to English language teachers. However, there is a lack of guidance on how to support teacher research, particularly as a mentor. Accordingly, this EVO aims to create a community of teacher-research mentors, providing an opportunity to share insights and provide specific guidance to enable mentors and prospective mentors to play what can be a pivotal role in supporting teacher-research.

Who was this EVO for?

  • Teacher educators, teacher development group leaders etc. who are currently mentoring teachers or student-teachers to do research into their classroom practice
  • Intending or past mentors of teacher-research who  to know more about the process before they begin (again)
  • Curious but undecided potential teacher-research mentors who want to know more about what’s involved before they decide
  • Decision-makers, administrators, school leaders, teacher educators or group leaders wondering whether to initiate and/or design a programme to encourage teacher-research.

Contents and activities:
Participants were engaged in the following activities:

  • Sharing ideas about the nature of mentoring and what mentoring teacher-research might specifically need to involve
  • Peer-coaching enabling participants to practise / reflect on teacher-research mentoring skills 
  •  A planning task involving consideration of who to mentor and establishment of a timeline and plan for effective communications

We also focused on the following stages of teacher-research mentoring, engaging participants in practical activities relating to each of them. 

  • Helping teachers to select a topic 
  • Guiding teachers to develop research questions
  • Preparing teachers to collect data
  • Guiding teachers to analyse and interpret data
  • Supporting teachers to plan and evaluate change
  • Helping teachers to share and reflect on their research 

The syllabus and practical activities were based on the freely downloadable British Council publication, Mentoring Teachers to Research Their Classrooms: A Practical Handbook,. Itself based on experience in Latin America and South Asia. This was complemented by questions and insights from participants themselves in relation to their own experiences. This year we also included some tasks which were produced from within an international mentoring support group which has been meeting monthly since 2021. Finally, we encouraged teacher-research mentors to continue to link up internationally, and we indicated resources and possibilities for follow-up. Participants were invited to become members of our Mentoring Teacher-research support group community to continue developing professionally, engaging in new mentoring programmes, sharing their experiences and generating knowledge together. We also invited participants to take an active part in face-to-face and online conferences such as Teachers Research! Online 2023.

Syllabus: Note: All webinars began at 14.00 GMT – time where you are here.

Registration Week: January 1 – 8  

FOCUS: Registration of participants and orientation of the Canvas course site and the Mentoring teacher-research course

Objectives:Before we began Week 1 activities with our first online meeting on January 7th, participants were encouraged to spend about an hour (in total) doing the following in our Canvas page:
a) Make sure you’ve registered [URL supplied]
b) Get to know other participants and introduce yourself, including your hopes and expectations, in Canvas  
c) Warm-up while waiting and  browse some of the resources about teacher-research and mentoring that we’ve made available in this link on Canvas [only available to registered participants]

Week 1: (January 9 – 15)
What does teacher-research mentoring involve?  / 1st online meeting – Sat. Jan. 7, 14:00 (GMT)

  • Sharing of teacher-research and teacher-research mentoring experiences among participants 
  • Discussion of why mentoring is important for supporting teacher-research 
  • Sharing ideas about the nature of mentoring and what mentoring teacher-research specifically needs to involve 

Week 2: (January 16 – 22)
Developing topics and questions / 2nd online meeting – Sat. Jan. 14, 14:00 (GMT)

  • Helping teachers to select a topic, aligning to: context, students´ ages, materials/resources, learners´ mindsets, teachers´ previous research, co-mentoring.
  • Guiding teachers to develop research questions

Week 3: (January 23 – 29)
Supporting data collection, analysis and interpretation / 3rd online meeting – Sat. Jan. 21, 14:00 (GMT)

  • Preparing teachers to collect data, discussing strategies mentors can use when guiding teachers to choose the appropriate tools  and methods. 
  • Guiding teachers to analyse and interpret data

Week 4: (January 30 – February 5)
Making a mentoring plan – and guiding teachers to plan and evaluate change / 4th online meeting  – Sat. Jan. 28, 14:00 (GMT) 

  • A planning task involving consideration of who to mentor and establishment of a timeline and effective communications 
  • Supporting teachers to plan and evaluate change

Week 5: (February 6 – 12)
Helping teachers to share and reflect on their research / 5th online meeting – Sat. Feb. 4, 14:00 (GMT) & 6th online meeting – Sat. Feb 11, 14:00 (GMT)

  • Helping teachers to share and reflect on their research
  • Helping teachers summarise/present their research findings
  • Wrap-up, taking things further, and evaluation of the EVO
  • Follow-up activities as part of the Mentoring Teacher-research support group community agenda during the year. 

Your hosts: 

Dr Seden Eraldemir Tuyan works as an educator at Çağ University, Mersin, Turkey. She has mentored groups of EFL teachers in in-service context and pre-service teachers during practicum. She has co-hosted Mentoring Teacher-research EVO 2020 and 2022 with Prof. Richard Smith. She is interested in the psychological perspectives of ELT, Social-Emotional Learning, teacher research, mentoring, and personal and professional development.

Ana García Stone is a teacher and teacher educator based in Madrid. She has over 30 years of experience in ELT and her main interest is teacher-led CPD, including teacher classroom research. She has been a teacher mentor since 2000, and more recently in an international context.  

Ruben Mazzei is a university EFL and literature teacher and has specialized in Linguistics. He teaches at secondary school level and in Higher Education and coordinates workshops in the area of Exploratory Action Research. He is the local coordinator of the Legitimation Code Theory group in Argentina. He co-authored Mentoring Presence for Supporting International Teacher-Researchers.

Mariana Serra is a teacher and a licentiate in English. She has been part of the international Mentoring Teacher-research Support group since 2021 and of its organizing committee.  She was part of Dr Smith’s team from 2020-2021 to develop the Enhancement mentoring for the Teacher-Research approach. She implemented a Teacher-research  Mentoring project with Turkish teachers (2021) with Seden Tuyan and co-authored the article ‘Mentoring presence for supporting international teacher-researchers‘ 

Prof Richard Smith has worked as a teacher educator for almost twenty-five years, the last twenty of them in the UK at the University of Warwick. has published widely on topics ranging from teacher-research to the history of language learning and teaching, and has worked with teachers from many countries, both directly and as academic adviser to teacher-research mentoring schemes in Latin America and South Asia. For his publications and further information see
http://warwick.ac.uk/richardcsmith

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