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ERIC Number: EJ1169106
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0965-0792
Transformative Change in Higher Education through Participatory Action Research: A Capabilities Analysis
Walker, Melanie; Loots, Sonja
Educational Action Research, v26 n1 p166-181 2018
As a methodological approach, participatory action research (PAR), and its variant of critical action research in education, aims to further social justice and generate transformative change. Although this understanding of PAR is well rehearsed, there is still a gap in detailed explorations of the transformative impact of PAR projects in higher education settings beyond the classroom: how do we then know whether transformative change through PAR has taken place, in which ways, through which processes, and for whom. This article aims to address these questions through proposing the use of a participatory action research cube (PARC) as a human capabilities evaluative framework for personal and structural transformative change enabled by PAR projects. Evaluating transformative change from this perspective rests on both the normative nature of the capabilities approach in its justice concerns, as well as consideration for individual well-being, understood as the expansion of freedoms people have to live the lives they value. Evaluating change both includes personal well-being as well as broader social or structural impact in the direction of more social justice. To demonstrate this empirically, we report on an eight-month PAR project on one rural South African university campus, where 13 undergraduate students were involved in researching gender inequalities on their campus. The PARC analysis highlights the development of capabilities and agency through axes of participation, knowledge development, and public deliberation, as well as identifying the developmental impact of these axes on transformative change for the participants, as well as the university.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A