ARMS 2019 - 20 mentors (from left to right): Row 1 –  Shikha, Shimona Tyagi, Tanya Gulati, Lakshman Rao P., Nazeer Hussain, Revathi Viswanath; Row 2 – Nisar Shaikh, Ashok Chavan, Sutapa Mukherjee, Dr Ravinarayan Chakrakodi, Jemima Hughes, Mithun Khandwala, Monish Panda, Tanya Kapoor, Vinayadhar Raju, Lingala Raju, Pradnya Gokhale, Asha Anto, Harish Patodkar and Santosh Mahapatra.

The Action Research Mentoring Scheme (ARMS) project supports teacher educators and academics as they mentor small groups of English language teachers through classroom-based research projects. This scheme aims to create an environment and framework that enables teachers to:

  • try out different approaches and ideas 
  • develop their reflective practice
  • make choices and decisions about their teaching styles
  • develop their confidence
  • 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 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
  • Inclusive education
  • 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 maximum of 6 teachers per mentor that they will support over a 12 month period
  • 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.

AARMS activities: 2017-18

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.

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.

AARMS activities: 2018-19

AARMS Awardees for 2018-19

Our Aptis Action Research Mentor Scheme Awardees for 2018-19 are:

Sandeep Shelavle, Xavier Pradheep Singh, Sudipta Singha Roy, Rachna Yadav, Swapna Yadav, Diptiben Trivedi, Shoba K.N., Vanita Chopra, Ipshita Hajra Sasmal, Jenie Christbol Alex, Ekta Goel, Renu Dhotre, Monishita Hajra Pande and Smita Pore.

Between them, these 17 mentors will work with over 75 teachers across the country. 

Two Aptis Action Research coordinators have been appointed: Professor Rama Mathew and Dr Ravinarayan Chakrakodi. They will be working closely with the awardees, over the duration of the scheme.

Induction of the AARMS mentors

On 5-6 May 2018 we held an induction workshop for 13 out of the 14 newly appointed AARMS mentors in Delhi. The induction was hosted by the AARMS facilitators: Prof Rama Mathew and Dr Ravinarayan Chakrakodi.

The mentors were introduced to the main principles and practices of action research, prompting rich and lively discussions around the AARMS mentors’ hopes and expectations for their mentees and their projects. Time was also spent exploring the role of a mentor and the types of qualities and skills they would need to effectively support their mentees.

Five AARMS mentors from our first cohort shared their experience; this proved a productive session where our new cohort got to hear first-hand their predecessors successes, challenges and lessons learned. 

Watch this space as we follow our AARMS mentors over the next ten months.

ARMS activities: 2019-20

ARMS Awardees for 2019-20

Our Action Research Mentor Scheme Awardees for 2019-20 are:

Ashok Chavan, Dr Asharani Anto, Dr Mithun Khandwala, Dr. Revathi Viswanathan, Harish Patodkar, Lakshmana Rao Pinninti, Lingala Raju, Monish Panda, Ms Pradnya Gokhale, Nazeer Hundekar, Nisar Shaikh, Shikha, Shimona Tyagi, Sutapa Mukherjee, Tanya Gulati, Tanya Kapoor, Vinayadhar Raju Prathikantam

Between them, these 17 mentors will work with over 80 teachers across the country. 

Two Action Research Super Mentors have been appointed: Dr Ravinarayan Chakrakodi and Mr. Santosh Mahapatra. They will be working closely with the awardees, over the duration of the scheme.

Induction of the ARMS mentors

On 11 - 12 May 2019, we held an induction workshop for the newly appointed ARMS mentors in Hyderabad. The mentors were introduced to the main principles and practices of action research, prompting rich and lively discussions around the ARMS mentors’ hopes and expectations for their mentees and their projects. Time was also spent exploring the role of a mentor and the types of qualities and skills they would need to effectively support their mentees. Four ARMS mentors from our second cohort shared their experience; this proved a productive session where our new cohort got to hear first-hand their predecessors successes, challenges and lessons learned. 

ARMS mid-year seminar

The mid-year seminar was held on 7 September 2019 at the English and Foreign Languages University (EFLU), Hyderabad. This event was open to both education professionals and post-graduate students receiving an overwhelming response of over 140 participants.

Starting with a plenary by Jason Anderson and Dr Rama Matthew, the audience was treated to a series of sessions by experts, mentors, authors and even storytellers! The audience thoroughly enjoyed the various sessions and explored the differences between academic and teacher research, and exploratory and action research. Multiple elements that play an important role in making teacher research successful were examined and discussed from various perspectives. Participants looked at the importance of teacher-motivation in conducting research of this kind, and also discussed ways to maintain the level of motivation and overcome challenges along the way. The complete cycle of teacher-research was analysed and the different methods of documenting it, were discussed. 

An important takeaway for the participants was that the success of teacher-research does not lie in finding a solution to the problem that they are researching, but rather in documenting their journey and sharing their learning. Mentors from the 2019-20 cohort of ARMS also shared their journey with the participants via presentations and Q&A sessions. They highlighted the importance of building a relationship of trust with their mentees, creating a shared purpose, working as a team and sharing experiences with fellow practitioners. At the end of the seminar, Dr Santosh Mahapatra, one of the super-mentors of ARMS, conducted a poll with participants and a sizeable majority showed their willingness to take up classroom-based teacher research in their context – an evidence of the positive impact of the day’s sessions and input!

ARMS online dissemination events

In a series of online events from 4 to 8 May 2020, 14 mentors provided an overview of their individual research projects and related findings. For every event 300 people tuned in to find out more about a variety of themes and topics.  We had participants from as far east as the Philippines and Japan and as far west as Ecuador and Mexico: a truly global dissemination event that would not have been possible without online conferencing tools! 

As requested by the participants, the presentations of the mentors are now available on this website and can be downloaded. These presentations will be available until 31 August 2020. 

Mentoring teachers to research their classrooms: a practical handbook by Dr. Richard Smith

This free handbook is a step-by-step guide for mentors supporting teacher researchers and offers insight, practical ideas and activities based on direct experience of classroom-based research in multiple contexts. Divided into two parts: Mentoring foundations and The process of teacher research, the 12 units can be used independently or altogether. With accompanying tasks and videos, the handbook is a useful resource to explore concepts like designing research questions and building research into routine teaching.  

This handbook facilitates reflection and includes references to additional resources. Use it individually or with peers to develop your skills in effectively supporting classroom-based research and enrich your professional development.  

The book will also be of use to school and educational leaders who are considering implementing teacher research and are looking for input and guidance on how to do this effectively. 

On 21 and 22 May 2020, we hosted a webinar Teacher-research: from first steps to mentoring presented by the author Dr. Richard Smith. As requested by the participants of the webinar, the powerpoint presentation is now be available in the downloads section below until 31 August 2020. The recording of the webinar is available here and also in the links section below. 


External links