ERIC Number: EJ1081417
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 53
The Complexities of Participatory Action Research and the Problems of Power, Identity and Influence
Hawkins, Karen A.
Educational Action Research, v23 n4 p464-478 2015
This article highlights the complexity of participatory action research (PAR) in that the study outlined was carried out with and by, as opposed to on, participants. The project was contextualised in two prior-to-school settings in Australia, with the early childhood professionals and, to some extent, the preschoolers involved in this PAR project seen as co-researchers. This article explores the author's journey to PAR, which she considered a socially just mode of inquiry. However, it is not without its complexities and challenges. This article makes transparent these complexities and explores issues of "power", identity and influence in collaborative research. Questions often reflected upon by researchers are re-visited in this article: What theoretical underpinnings align with the investigation? Why undertake such a demanding research design as PAR? What does this research design involve? Where does the university researcher fit? How does a PAR team "work" when there are so many different personalities involved? What are the challenges that are faced by participatory action researchers and how might these be overcome? While these challenges are not new to PAR researchers, the solutions and discussion put forward in this article may generate further reflection and debate.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Action Research, Participatory Research, Preschool Children, Preschool Teachers, Early Childhood Education, Researchers, Critical Theory, Social Justice, Power Structure, Identification (Psychology), Influences
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Preschool Education; Early Childhood Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia