Collaborative Action Research Projects: the role of Communities of Practice and Mentoring in enhancing teachers’ Continuing Professional Development

Soultana Manesi
Kindergarten Teacher, Med, Postgraduate Student, Open University of Cyprus

Stamatina Betsi
IT Professional, Msc, Med

Abstract: The assumption that learning is a distinct and primarily individual process, a process initiated, controlled and completed as the result of teaching interventions, is reflected upon the typical design, development and management of educational institutions around the globe. Similar assumptions appear to apply for teachers’ training and development. Over recent years, there has been an upsurge of interest concerning the planning and implementation of collaborative action research projects, denoting the value and significance of such initiatives in the field of teachers’ continuous professional development. Action research is a reflective process of progressive problem solving and it seems that through action-based inquiry teachers are enhanced to better understand and extend their professional activity as well as reflect on their teaching problems. The present paper aspires to reveal the way in which innovatory mentoring programmes combined with collaborative action research initiatives and communities of practice may help teachers to move from a position of dependency to one of greater independence and professional autonomy.

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