Inquiry-based teaching, action research, collaboration, continuous professional development, active listening
This article is a narrative résumé of a year-long collaborative critical inquiry into teaching methods with teachers of modern languages in Irish secondary schools. Putting myself, a cultural stranger and first-time qualitative researcher, at the core of this self-study, I discuss first the context and methodological framework of the study to later speak about several aha-moments that shaped my journey. The initial aim of making my participants become action researchers was fulfilled only partially. Because I allowed participants to co-create this action research study in tune with their needs and capacities, I needed to change my expectations. Rather than seeing parts of this study as a failure, given that so far none of my participants published their action research outcomes, I began to embrace an organic approach to continuing professional development that is based on active listening and collaboration.