June 2nd–3rd – Teachers Research! Istanbul 2017, Turkey

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This was IATEFL Research SIG’s third annual conference in Turkey for practitioner researchers and those mentoring teacher-researchers. The primary goal of the conference was to bring together teacher-researchers across Turkey and beyond to support the growing international movement of teachers as researchers and knowledge creators for themselves, their students and their schools. For the second year in a row, the event was held at Bahçeşehir University, next to the Bosphorus.

18920162_827296100752536_7617369382831546321_nTo a large extent the conference was participant-centred, with teachers being viewed as at the centre of knowledge construction rather than the ‘receivers’ of expert knowledge. The format of the conference promoted interaction among presenters and listeners by allowing ample discussion time after brief poster presentations of studies. In this way, teachers were encouraged to communicate their ideas, and to get and give feedback freely.

Mentors of teacher-research groups reported on their groups’ work, like this one by Cemile Dogan of Necmettin Erbakan University in Konya: 

and this one by Seden Eraldemir Tuyan of Cukurova University in Adana;

There were individual presentations by high school teachers, like this one:

And, for the first time, quite a few presentations by student-teachers who had been encouraged to carry out teacher-research for their practicum, including this one:

And there were the following, well-received plenary presentations:

Gary Barkhuizen, University of Auckland, New Zealand – Teacher identities, short stories, and teacher research: Tangled up in blue

Anne Burns, University of New South Wales, Australia – Supporting teachers to do practitioner research: Some lessons learned and some questions to consider

Flávia Vieira, Universidade do Minho, Portugal – Pedagogical inquiry in initial teacher education: transformative potential and critical issues

The book Developing Insights into Teacher-research, a collection of chapters based on presentations at the previous year’s conference, was on sale at the registration desk, and several of the authors and editors were on hand to sign copies.

In the final ‘panel discussion’ session of the conference, undergraduate students – many of whom had presented their own work – were invited to come centre-stage to give their comments, in recognition of the fact that pre-service teachers were represented in significant numbers at the conference for the first time, and that the future is in their hands!:

UPDATE: Thank you very much to Seher Bulgay for making the following YouTube montage to complement the above record! Hopefully it will attract many more people to come to next year’s conference, in the same attractive surroundings!: