English Australia Journal : English Australia Journal Volume 33.2
Volume 33 No 2 3 English Australia Journal Exploratory practice and professional development in ELT: The roles of collaboration and reflection Phil Benson Department of Linguistics, Macquarie University Mary Ann Chehade Jose Lara Gamze Aliriza Sayram Lesley Speer Macquarie University English Language Centre Although professional development is a primary aim of teacher research, published studies tend to foreground research findings. This study focused on professional development outcomes of two collaborative exploratory practice projects. Using narrative inquiry as a tool for reflection, the participants identified turning points in the projects that led to professional development. In addition to learning about teaching, learners and research, developments related to working with others and the professional development process were identified as outcomes that have not previously been emphasised in the literature on teacher research. It is suggested that these professional development outcomes may be specific to exploratory practice and narrative inquiry, as flexible approaches to teacher research that are focused on understanding. Introduction Teacher research is often discussed as means towards professional development. However, published reports tend to emphasise research findings and what has been learned about the focus area of the project. In this paper, four teachers and one academic collaborator focus on their professional development during two collaborative exploratory practice projects. Adopting a narrative inquiry approach, they reflect individually on turning points in their professional development during the projects and conclude with a collective reflection on how exploratory practice worked as a means of professional development in the context of the collaboration.
English Australia Journal Volume 33.1