ERIC Number: EJ758761
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
In from the Cold? Reflections on Participatory Research from 1970-2005
Hall, Budd L.
Convergence, v38 n1 p5-24 2005
Participatory research (PR) is a term that was first articulated in Tanzania in the early 1970s to describe a variety of community-based approaches to the creation of knowledge. Taken together these approaches combine social investigation, education and action in an interrelated process. The International Council for Adult Education provided a home in 1976 for what became the International Participatory Research Network, the means by which the ideas and practices of PR became more widely visible. PR was a concept that, unlike most contemporary research paradigms, originated in the majority world. It originated in the rapidly expanding networks of non-governmental organisations in the 1980s and 1990s. It has been the research approach of choice in many of the social movement interventions of the past 20 years. PR and its sister concept participatory action research (PAR) have in the past 15 years been taken up in many universities around the world, both as a teaching subject and as a research method for graduate studies. One might say that PR has come "in from the cold," that it has come in from the margins to become an accepted member of the academic family. This article explores the origins of the concept of PR, particularly from the vantage point of the author's own involvement in the liberatorymovement. He is most often associated with what has become known as the school of PAR. The purpose of this article is also to interrogate what "coming in from the cold" really means. This article is highly personal and is a first effort on the author's part to put into print his reflections on the early period of the network and some of the persons and issues involved.
Descriptors: Research Methodology, Foreign Countries, Participatory Research, Action Research, Adult Education, Educational History, Interdisciplinary Approach, Group Behavior, Social Change, Transformative Learning, Epistemology
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Tanzania