ESTABLISHING A COOPERATIVE WRITING GROUP AMONG TEACHER EDUCATORS: POSSIBILITIES AND CHALLENGES
Problems of Education in the 21st Century
Getting published has become important in academia and also among teacher educators. The purpose of this paper is to investigate potential benefits and challenges when establishing an academic writing group among Finnish teacher educators. The three authors of this paper applied an autoethnographic approach to study the starting points of the writing group. In the group, mentoring and social support were used to share experiences and knowledge about academic writing. Relationships and
... ons from all participants were emphasised. Each member was considered equal to the other members. The study demonstrated that writing for international academic audiences was challenging; it was deemed to be both emotionally and intellectually demanding. Many participants described the experiences of tension when allocating time for teaching and writing. Membership in the group provided possibilities for social comparison. The members encouraged self-improvement and allowed other group members to become reflective mirrors. The participants considered their membership in the writing group positively and indicated that it had contributed to their academic writing. On the basis of the project, it is recommended to establish continuing writing groups to promote academic writing and publishing as a central part of teacher educators' profession. Key words: academic writing, autoethnography, co-mentoring, cooperative learning, cooperative research, researcher's career, social comparison.