Ideal for researchers who are committed to co-developing research programs with people rather than for people, this book provides a history of PAR, its various strands, and the underlying tenets that guide most PAR projects.
Fully revised and updated, this second edition of Participatory Action Research (PAR) provides new theoretical insights and many robust tools that will guide researchers, professionals and students from all disciplines through the process of conducting action research ‘with’ people rather than ‘for’ them or ‘about’ them. PAR is collective reasoning and evidence-based learning focussed on social action. It has immediate relevance in fields ranging from community development to education, health, public engagement, environmental issues and problem solving in the workplace. This new edition has been extensively revised to create a user-friendly textbook on PAR theory and practice, including: updated references and a comprehensive overview of different approaches to PAR (pragmatic, psychosocial, critical); more emphasis on the art of process design, especially in complex social settings characterized by uncertainty and the unknown; developments in the use of Web2 collaborative tools and digital strategies to support real-time data gathering and processing; updated examples and stories from around the world, in a wide range of fields; critical commentaries on major issues in the social sciences, including stakeholder theory, systems thinking, causal analysis, monitoring and evaluation, research ethics, risk assessment and social innovation. This modular textbook provides novel perspectives and ideas in a longstanding tradition that strives to reconnect science and the inquiry process with life in society. It provides coherent and critical treatment of core issues in the ongoing evolution of PAR, making it suitable for a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses. It is intended for use by researchers, students and working professionals seeking to improve or rethink their approach to co-creating knowledge and supporting action for the well-being of all.
Participatory Action Research (PAR) approaches and methods have seen an explosion of recent interest in the social and environmental sciences. PAR involves collaborative research, education and action which is oriented towards social change, representing a major epistemological challenge to mainstream research traditions. It has recently been the subject of heated critique and debate and rapid theoretical and methodological development. This book captures these developments, exploring the justification, theorisation, practice and implications of PAR. It offers a critical introduction to understanding and working with PAR in different social, spatial and institutional contexts. The authors engage with PAR’s radical potential, while maintaining a critical awareness of its challenges and dangers. The book is divided into three parts. The first part explores the intellectual, ethical and pragmatic contexts of PAR; the development and diversity of approaches to PAR; recent poststructuralist perspectives on PAR as a form of power; the ethic of participation; and issues of safety and well-being. Part two is a critical exploration of the politics, places and practices of PAR. Contributors draw on diverse research experiences with differently situated groups and issues including environmentally sustainable practices, family livelihoods, sexual health, gendered experiences of employment, and specific communities such as people with disabilities, migrant groups, and young people. The principles, dilemmas and strategies associated with participatory approaches and methods including diagramming, cartographies, art, theatre, photovoice, video and geographical information systems are also discussed. Part three reflects on how effective PAR is, including the analysis of its products and processes, participatory learning, representation and dissemination, institutional benefits and challenges, and working between research, action, activism and change. The authors find that a spatial perspective and an attention to scale offer helpful means of negotiating the potentials and paradoxes of PAR. This approach responds to critiques of PAR by highlighting how the spatial politics of practising participation can be mobilised to create more effective and just research processes and outcomes. The book adds significant weight to the recent critical reappraisal of PAR, suggesting why, when, where and how we might take forward PAR’s commitment to enabling collaborative social transformation. It will be particularly useful to researchers and students of Human Geography, Development Studies and Sociology.
Using Data-Driven Decision Making to Improve Schools
Author: E. Alana James
While written for mastersÆ students in any Educational Leadership concentration, this is a core text for departments that teach action research as a primary research methodology or a supplemental text for those that place it in a range of research methods. The book provides a readable overview of the PAR process similar to professional learning communities in schools. Its design reaches out to visual learners as graphic elements guide graduate students through the research methods they need to successfully complete rigorous projects. The results of the original PAR study and continued work with educational leaders lead us to believe that this approach ultimately produces the results school leaders seek and appreciate. Key Features: o Clear process through both the PAR steps employing a research logic model throughout. This benefits the graduate student or educational leader by leading them to data driven outcomes that are valid, credible and reliableGraphic elements guide the reader through the process and aid the visual learner in keeping track of the concepts behind the theory. o Reflective questions precede each section. This increases the reflective practices and routines of the reader as appropriate to the PAR process. o Tasks, written for both groups and individuals, aid participatory teams in working towards consensus and strong research designs o Practitioner stories make the lessons real and ease the emotional unease that come from tackling research practices the first time. Intended Audience: This book represents the evolution of PAR from a soft science to a process appropriate for educators in todayÆs data driven environments or for graduate students whose thesis needs to pass the recommendations of professors steeped in positivist traditions.
Participatory Action Research in Healthcare provides a guide toparticipatory action research in the community health setting. Itdraws upon the authors' experiences working, researching andengaging with people utilising collaborative, participatoryapproaches. The authors position participatory action research as avital, dynamic and relevant approach that can be engaged bypractitioners and health service providers. It is argued thatparticipating with people is the way to move forward towardsustainable services that evoke human flourishing. Participatory Action Research in Healthcare explores the key issuessurrounding participatory action research, and examines thebenefits of this approach for community development and healthpromotion. It includes detailed guidelines on data generation andanalysis.
As novel, complex social problems increase, especially those involving vulnerable people who reside in challenging places, the limitations of conventional research methods implemented by just one or two investigators become apparent. Research and development alternatives are needed, particularly methods that engage teams of researchers in real world problem solving while simultaneously generating practice- and policy-relevant knowledge. Research methods that effectively tap the expertise of everyday people, especially those impacted by these targeted social problems, are a special priority because academic researchers often lack experiential knowledge that stems from direct, everyday encounters with these vexing problems. Participatory action research (PAR) responds to these manifest needs. It provides a methodological structure and operational guidelines for preparing and deploying people from various walks of life as co-researchers, and it provides a proven strategy for generating practice- and policy-relevant knowledge as problem-solving in real world contexts proceeds.