Dates: 17-30 November
Article: Managing innovation in English language education: A research agenda, by Alan Waters
Moderator: Martin Wedell, University of Leeds
The discussion will take place in the Research SIG's Yahoo!Group, which is open to members and non-members of the SIG alike.
Link to article: http://journals.cambridge.org/LTA/Waters
In Waters (2009), I attempted to capture the ‘state of the art’ in theorising, practice and research activity about the management of innovation in English language education (ELE). Here I will reprise a number of the areas in that review, to identify where the field would benefit from further enquiry about how to successfully effect ELE innovation management. In doing so, I will attempt to explain why I regard each of the proposed areas of further investigation as important and, in outline terms, how such additional research might be conducted. In what follows, three main areas for this research agenda will be outlined: i) investigations to do with the further application of established theoretical frameworks; ii) others involving concepts from innovation theory which have yet to be applied to ELE; and iii) studies which seek to explore what have so far been relatively under-researched aspects of ELE innovation activity. This said, the topics for further research which I indicate are far from comprehensive, due to the space available. However, I hope that they nevertheless provide a sufficiently clear and representative indication of the possibilities.
Martin Wedell who will moderate the discussion of this article, is a Senior Lecturer and Head of international Education in the School of Education, University of Leeds, England. He spent 20 years teaching and working on ELT projects in Kenya, Saudi Arabia, China and Hungary and has worked with teachers in Oman, India, Chile and Korea. He has published a number of books and articles on TESOL change and Teacher education. His main ELT interests are educational change planning, teacher education and the context of ELT.
To help you get ready for the discussion, here are some possible questions, suggested by Martin, apart from ones you might have of your own:
1 Do you consider your own teaching context to be towards the BANA/Integrationist or the TESEP/Collectionist ends of the continua introduced on ps 93-94 – Why?
2. Think of an innovation that you have experienced. This may be as part of a national education innovation or at institutional level. Were the goals of the innovation explained to you, and was it clear to you why these aims were important / desirable?
3. Thinking of the innovation you mentioned at (2) or any other one you have experienced- did you see any evidence of ‘reinvention’ (p 96) or mutual adaptation (p 97) in the way you and your colleagues responded?
4. Can you think of any reasons in your context why the bottom up dimension of the implementation process (illustrated p 98) so rarely occurs?
5. Henrichsen’s hybrid model (p 99) is 25 years old. Can you think of any reasons why it has so rarely been used to inform innovation implementation planning?
6. P 101/102 apart, from the roles mentioned here, are there any other groups in your context whose roles may influence implementation?
7. P 103- what sorts of people, playing what sorts of roles, are in your opinion / experience most likely to become early adopters - why?
8. What would you consider to be a ‘critical mass’ of implementers? Does the number needed to reach critical mass vary according to who the members of that ‘mass’ are?
9. P 104/5 – does the Transition Curve map onto your own experience as an innovation implementer (again you might want to think of the innovation you mentioned at 2). Did you go through any other stages? How long did / would you expect it to take to move from 1-7?
10. Would you expect the issues emerging from the management of ELE innovations to be very different from one part of the world to another? Why (not)? (Wedell and Al Shumaimeri, 2014, for example, look at innovation in Saudi Arabia.) http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0346251X14001249
11. Do you agree with the Fullan quote on p 108? Why (not)?
17-30 November: Article discussion: Managing innovation in English language education: A research agenda. Language Teaching, 47/1: 92-110
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