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

This award scheme involves teacher educators and academics mentoring a group of English language teachers on their action research projects. The programme aims to create an environment and framework that enables participating teachers to try out different approaches and ideas and: 

  • develop their reflective practice
  • make choices and decisions about their teaching styles
  • develop their confidence
  • help them improve their student learning.

AARMS 2017-18 is currently underway and we anticipate that we will announce applications for the 2018-19 programme later this year.

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. 

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.

What is action research?

Action or classroom-based research begins with the teacher and a question or questions they might have about classroom experiences, issues, 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 ELT classroom research specialists from India and the UK (the AARMS coordinators) 
  • strengthen their existing mentoring and research skills
  • establish a network of professional relationships
  • gain experience in project management.

What themes are the teachers exploring in their classrooms?

The teachers work with their mentor and together they have identified classroom challenges and potential solutions related to the following themes.

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

What were the criteria for the awards?

The scheme grants awards to teacher educators and academics that have:

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

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

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.