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English Teaching ; 2022.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-1961314


Purpose: Adaptivity has long been recognized as a key aspect of teaching and shown to be particularly important for English Language Arts (ELA) teachers leading discussions about texts. Teachers' abilities to make such adjustments are especially important when facilitating discussions in digital contexts, as was made clear with the shift to virtual teaching caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose of this paper is to explore how the structure and process of teacher inquiry supported ELA teachers in enacting and cultivating adaptive repertoires for facilitating discussion in online contexts during the disruptions of the 2020–2021 school year. Design/methodology/approach: As an inquiry team comprising teacher-researchers from secondary and university-based contexts, the authors used practitioner inquiry methods in the context of a multi-year, multi-sited study involving, design-based and teacher-research methodologies. Findings: This paper shows how teachers’ engagement in digital teacher inquiry groups supported their willingness to be playful and adapt their practices in response to one another, creating conditions for powerful teacher learning through relational inquiry online. This paper identified three specific relational practices that were critical for cultivating adaptive repertories in teachers’ learning with and from each other: cultivating empathy;attuning to silences and actively listening;and decentering authority across multiple platforms and modalities. The authors discuss how teachers carried these practices to and from their digital discussions with their students and with each other, demonstrating how this recursive cycle of inquiry and practice deepened their learning, relationships and adaptive repertoires. Originality/value: The authors discuss the implications of these practices for equity-oriented and dialogic teacher learning that can transform classroom practice, illustrating the power of online teacher inquiry groups for developing ELA teachers’ adaptive expertise – something urgently important for teaching in digitally mediated contexts and through unsettled times. © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited.