Geraldine Magennis-Clarke



This paper examines a literacy book study group as a potentially useful vehicle for the delivery of teacher professional learning in a primary setting. A small group of teachers, in conjunction with a university lecturer, participated in weekly workshop sessions centred around a chosen literacy-based text. The goal of this project was to provide practitioners with a safe space in which to examine, reaffirm and extend their current knowledge base and classroom practices with the intention of engaging with ideas that may be unfamiliar or potentially daunting. At the core of its design, was the desire to provide ‘grassroots’ professional learning opportunities which recognise and honour the participants’ professional acumen and in turn, build their confidence. Data was gathered via the creation of voice files in response to a short post-project questionnaire. This was supplemented by the on-line discussion threads that took place during each weekly workshop session. Overall, the study was found to be affirming while also bringing a sense of welcome camaraderie from across various schools. Encouragingly, it was found that the ideas explored were authentically-applicable to the classroom without the weight of extraneous paperwork or arduous study commitments.