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Overview of TARCDP Programme

Teacher Action Research and Career Development Plan


Beginning in 2019, Action Research Teams (ARTs) of two to four participants will pursue professional development projects of mutual interest under the Teacher Action Research and Career Development Programme (TARCDP). The action research paradigm promotes staff development and capacity through the mechanisms of a structured inquiry-based project, encourages collaboration between participants for the benefit of all, supports the project work completed by participants through professional mentoring and provides a rigorous framework for the production of high quality educational resources that can be shared with the School community.

TARCDP Projects

There are four modes of participation in the TARCDP:

  1. As a member of an ART developing teaching, learning, curriculum, and/or assessment practices within the Scotch context;
  2. As a member of an ART constructing a professional development programme for Scotch teachers, and, possibly, for teachers in boys’ schools more generally;
  3. As a member of an ART undertaking pedagogical research of a more general nature; or
  4. As an ART mentor (see below).


Action research projects can be completed over a two year cycle (80 – 90 hours of work per team member) or a one year cycle (40 – 45 hours of work per team member). Part-time participants participate in an ART on a pro rata basis.

All ARTs are expected to follow the typical action research methodology of:

  • PLANNING (identifying, informing, analysing)
  • ACTING (trialling, collecting, questioning)
  • OBSERVING (analysing, reporting, sharing)
  • REFLECTING (evaluating, implementing, revisiting)


Project ideas should offer a clear vision for the improvement of teaching and learning practices within the School and/or collegiate professional development.

ARTs may form naturally within academic departments or be comprised of participants from across departments.

Outcomes of completed action research projects will be shared with the Scotch community in each of these ways:

  • A brief written report (using a supplied proforma);
  • A video report of 5 – 7 minutes (e.g. ‘TED talk’) to share the key findings and make suggestions for future research; and
  • Departmental presentations on the findings, and recommendations, of action research projects.

Some ARTs will be selected each year to present their research work at whole staff meetings; one or two ARTs each year will be selected to present their research work to School Council.

In addition, the School will seek to support staff who may wish to publish their action research findings in relevant educational journals or present their work at conferences.

TARCDP Mentors

TARCDP participants appointed as mentors will provide support and advice to one or two ARTs. A mentor will be receive training in the action research methodology and will offer insight to guide and support the work of ARTs. Mentors assist ARTs by:

  • Undertaking school-provided training and, where possible, external professional development related to action research methodology;
  • Meeting with each ART as a group, or with certain members of an ART, approximately once per timetable cycle;
  • Assisting ARTs by establishing goals, in collaboration with the ART participants, for the completion of the project;
  • Acting as ‘critical friend’ to each ART. Mentors should aim to guide through questioning as opposed to directing; and
  • Encouraging TARCDP project development according to the action research methodology above and, in particular, promoting a rigorous approach to ongoing evaluation.