Synthesisability: Empowering Teachers, Promoting Research


Continuing professional development (CPD) is essential for enhancing teachers’ knowledge and skills in fast-changing times. Co-ordinated exploratory action research (EAR) initiatives present meaningful opportunities for teachers’ CPD in low resourced environments (Smith & Rebolledo, 2022). However, teachers may see research as troublesome, and researchers may overlook the value of teachers’ outputs. Tensions between mismatched stakeholder incentives at the research and practice interface can frustrate efforts. Nevertheless, fostering teachers’ systematic reflection in and on practice through EAR can help them adapt instructional strategies, build collegial networks, and develop professional identities. The purpose of this presentation is demonstrating how qualitative research synthesis (QRS) can benefit EAR initiatives for language teachers’ CPD. The presenter will critically explore QRS methodology and its application in related fields, like Technology-Mediated Task Based Language Teaching. The analysis offered suggests that a novel research orientation be adopted- that of ‘synthesisability’. Synthesisability may remedy conceptual and methodological issues that confound the researcher-practitioner dialogue by harmonising stakeholders’ incentives, and better scaffolding teachers’ research experiences. Neither this methodology nor this research orientation have been used in EAR before. Clear recommendations for operationalising synthesisability through EAR for CPD are proposed in the presentation. The themes discussed will not only be of interest to those involved in language education, but in many related educational fields where there are needs for CPD and democratised engagement with and in research.

Author Information
Thomas Stringer, Kwansei Gakuin University, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: SEACE2024
Stream: Professional Training

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon