ReSIG: Enhancement mentoring for teacher-research: a hopeful response to Covid-19
Join IATEFL ReSIG and Richard Smith, Erzsébet Ágnes Békés, Mariana Serra & Seden Eraldemir Tuyan for this webinar.
In this presentation we describe the development of an innovative approach to mentoring for teacher-research, termed ‘enhancement mentoring’, which we collaboratively developed online during lockdown and have since then been trialling successfully with international groups of mentors and teachers. We characterize this as a 'hopeful' response to Covid-19 because, rather than focusing added attention on problems – with attendant dangers of exacerbating perceptions of difficulty – we were concerned to meet the crisis by supporting teachers to identify and explore further the pedagogic successes they had resourcefully achieved, as a basis for charting pathways forward. Whereas teacher-research tends to begin with a problem or puzzle, we felt that the idea of building research on understanding success – as outgrowth of an overall 'enhancement approach' (Smith, Padwad & Bullock 2016) – deserved to be developed further, for the sake of teachers' wellbeing. The feasibility and potential value of mentoring and peer-coaching according to this model have been confirmed by the cycles of research and development we have been engaged in. In this webinar, we introduce the practical set of questions we have developed, presenting this as a toolkit to help others – including teacher-researchers themselves, as well as mentors of teacher-research, teacher educators, leaders of teacher associations, and so on – to derive value from and chart a path through and beyond the pandemic experience.
Dr Richard Smith (University of Warwick) formerly coordinated the IATEFL Research SIG (2011–2015) and is now its Publications Officer. As adviser to teacher-research schemes in Latin America and South Asia, he is known for his work engaging teachers in Exploratory Action Research, an approach to teacher-research specifically developed as a means for teachers in difficult circumstances (large-class, under-resourced classrooms) to understand and address the issues they face. He has also published on teacher-research mentoring, most recently Mentoring Teachers to Research Their Classrooms, a handbook published by the British Council in Delhi. For his other interests and more information, see http://warwick.ac.uk/richardcsmith
Erzsébet Békés (Eli) is a Hungarian English teacher residing and working in Ecuador. She is the co-author of a concise volume titled Why NNESTs?: International English and the implications for teacher development. She worked for BBC English and the Hungarian Section of the World Service in London. Over her 40-year career as a language teacher, she taught English as a volunteer in Greece, Ethiopia and the Amazonian jungle. Her interests include Exploratory Action Research, teacher training and development, plurilingualism and intercultural communication. She is presently a volunteer teacher-research mentor at the National University of Education and is involved in supporting the classroom research and publishing activities of English teachers and English major students.
Mariana Serra is an Argentinian teacher of English with a licenciate in English (UNL), and is currently studying for her MA in Applied Linguistics. She has studied in the USA (SDSU) and in Spain (Rotary International Scholarship). She was a participant in the Aptis Action Research Award Scheme (2015–17) and in 2018 and 2019 participated as a mentor in the TESOL International Electronic Village Online on Classroom-based Research for Professional Development, becoming a lead moderator. For over ten years, she has worked in universities and secondary school teaching English as a foreign language, including as Head of Department coordinating and monitoring other schoolteachers. Her interests are applied linguistics, teacher research and materials development. She co-founded and is actively involved with the APIBA Teacher Research SIG in Buenos Aires.
Dr Seden Eraldemir Tuyan is a lecturer in the Department of English Language Teaching at Çağ University, Mersin, Turkey. Currently, she teaches ELT Methodology and Professional Development courses in her department. She has mentored groups of EFL teachers in an in-service context and co-moderated Classroom-based Research for Professional Development and Mentoring Teacher-research sessions on the TESOL International EVO platform in 2020. She is interested in psychological perspectives in ELT, including individual learner differences in language learning, motivation and learner beliefs, besides her interests in Social-Emotional Learning, teacher research, and personal and professional development. She has published articles on various aspects of affect in foreign language learning, teacher research and mentoring.