Synthesisability and optimising exploratory action research for continuing professional development

Thomas Stringer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Teachers need to engage in effective professional learning, and Exploratory Action Research (EAR) supports Continuing Professional Development (CPD) in building teachers’ knowledge and skills, even in low-resourced environments. This paper first explores mentored EAR for CPD, its affordances, and challenges. Asking EAR to serve too many functions can frustrate efforts if teachers view research as taxing, or academics undervalue teachers’ outputs. One way of optimising CPD is to shift the focus onto particular concepts of research quality to help teachers and academics develop professionally. This paper next conceptually examines the conjunction of EAR with Qualitative Research Synthesis (QRS), a secondary research method that synthesises and offers new perspectives on aggregated qualitative research outputs. A critical exploration of a published study applying QRS methods in a related field, Technology-Mediated Task Based Language Teaching, is given. The analysis suggests that a novel research orientation be adopted- that of ‘synthesisability’. The contribution to the field is amelioration of the researcher-practitioner relationship, and the pedagogical implications are that teachers can show the thoroughness and value of their impactful work.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalEducational Action Research
VolumeLatest Articles
Early online date3 Jun 2024
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Jun 2024

Keywords

  • Exploratory action research
  • Synthesisability
  • Qualitative research synthesis
  • Language teacher professional development

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