AARMS mid-point workshop with AARMS mentors from India and Nepal, and AARMS co-ordinators Dr Amol Padwad and Dr Richard Smith (September 2017)
AARMS mid-point workshop with AARMS mentors from India and Nepal, and AARMS co-ordinators Dr Amol Padwad and Dr Richard Smith (September 2017) ©

British Council

British Council India is delighted to announce the launch of a new award scheme for teacher educators and academics to mentor a group of English language teachers on their action research projects. This scheme provides an excellent opportunity to support teachers and:

  • create an environment and framework that enables a group of teachers to try out different approaches and ideas 
  • develop their reflective practice
  • make choices and decisions about their teaching styles
  • develop their confidence
  • help them improve their student learning.

What is action research?

Action or classroom-based research begins with the teacher and a question or set of questions they might have about classroom experiences, issues, successes or challenges.  It is a highly reflective process that encourages teachers to examine their own practice and discover what will and will not work for their students in their classrooms.

Why is the award scheme for mentors working with groups of teachers?

Mentors can play a key role in helping teachers grow, learn and transform. Having a mentor work with teachers on their research projects ensures they will have the necessary support and guidance they need as they navigate the process of classroom based research.

What benefits will the mentors gain?

Throughout the scheme mentors will:

  • receive extensive feedback, mentoring and support from an ELT classroom research specialists from India 
  • strengthen their existing mentoring and research skills
  • establish a network of professional relationships
  • gain experience in project management.

What themes can teachers explore in their classrooms?

Teachers will work with their mentor and together they will identify classroom challenges and potential solutions related to:

  • Assessment
  • Multilingual education
  • Innovation and ICT
  • Developing 21st century skills

What were the criteria for the awards?

The scheme is able to grant awards for teacher educators and academics that have:

  • identified a group of between three to 10 teachers they will work with over 12 months (April 2018 to March 2019)
  • have some experience of mentoring or leading groups of teachers 
  • an interest and some experience in classroom-based research
  • a clear picture of who the group members are, what their various roles are, and what the group is aiming to achieve
  • a clear plan, with a schedule of activity clearly explaining what group members will be doing on a month by month basis
  • a proposed budget that shows how the money awarded will be spent for research-related purposes.

Note: teacher-researchers in the group do not need to be all researching the same theme.

Is there any support for the application process?

YES! On the 2 February 2018 at 4:30 p.m. will be running a webinar to help guide interested individuals through the application process. Time will be spent looking at the different sections and what type of information is needed to successfully complete the application. It is also an opportunity to ask questions about the scheme and how it works. This webinar will be recorded and a linked to this webpage so those who unable to attend the webinar will be able to access its content.

AARMS activities: 2017 onwards

Induction of the AARMS mentors

On the 20-21 February 2017 we held our induction for 13 out of the 14 AARMS mentors in Delhi. The induction was hosted by the AARMS facilitators: Amol Padwad and Richard Smith. Over the course of a day and a half Amol and Richard introduced the main principles and practices of action research, which prompted plenty of rich and lively discussions around the AARMS mentors’ hopes and expectations for their mentees. Time was also spent exploring the role of a mentor and what qualities and skills they would need to exhibit to effectively support their mentees. At the end of the induction all the mentors expressed their excitement about the scheme and getting to work with their mentees.

AARMS workshop: September 2017

On 16 September 2017 we held our mid-point for workshop for all 14 of the AARMS mentors in Nagpur. The workshop was hosted by our two AARMS co-ordinators or, as they’re also known as the Super Mentors: Dr Amol Padwad and Dr Richard Smith. This time our workshop had a distinct international flavour as three AARMS mentors from Nepal joined us for the day.

The workshop was a fantastic opportunity for our mentors to get together and share their successes, lessons learnt and challenges to date on the scheme. This resulted in some fruitful discussions and demonstrated how much the mentors have developed and honed their skills in the last six months. The focus then shifted from their work with their mentees to them as mentors. Supported by Amol and Richard, they questioned each other on what aspects of their role they would like to explore further; this would then be used a basis to form their own research question into mentoring teacher researchers. At the end of the workshop everyone was revitalised and looking forward to the next six months of the scheme.

The next meeting is planned to take place in Delhi in March 2018 where we will publically showcase the AARMS mentors’ learning alongside their mentees classroom based research.

AARMS Awardees for 2017-18

Our Aptis Action Research Mentor Scheme Awardees for 2017-18 are:

Anirudha Rout, Tamara Philip, Vivek Joshi, Chandeep Marwah, Suman Chawla, Usha Malhan, Sonika Gupta, Esther Gloria Sahu, Kuheli Mukherjee, Kalyan Chattopadhyay, Santosh Mahapatre, Raminder Mac, Krishna Dixit and Milind Mane.

Between them, these 14 mentors will work with over 80 teachers across the country. 

Two Aptis Action Research coordinators have been appointed: Dr Amol Padwad and Dr Richard Smith. They will be working closely with the awardees, over the duration of the scheme.

If you a teacher educator or academic and you know of a group of teachers you could potentially work with, please do apply!

Mentors awarded funding will be expected to maintain contact with an assigned AARMS core team member, reporting to them on progress during the year, and share their findings and experiences in a public forum by the end of March 2019. There will also be a series of face-to-face meetings and a research symposium that all mentors will be expected to attend and contribute to.

The deadline for applications, using the application form provided is midnight IST 23 February 2018. Applicants will hear about the success or otherwise of their application by 5 March 2018.

Completed application forms should be sent to: Aarms-India@in.britishcouncil.org