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ERIC Number: EJ1223203
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1925-7147
A History and Analysis of the Evolution of Action and Participatory Action Research
Jacobs, Steven Darryl
Canadian Journal of Action Research, v19 n3 p34-52 2018
Action research is a type of research which is conducted with research participants rather than on participants. This premise democratizes research, resulting in transformative potential, while addressing issues such as power and hierarchy which are present in traditional positivist research approaches, allowing those affected by the research to benefit from a more democratic research experience: According to Habermas, "in a process of enlightenment, there can only be participants". However, as with social science research, or perhaps any method of research, there are different forms of action research which have evolved over time. This paper describes the worldviews that have informed the evolution of action research and examines three different forms of action research with respect to assumptions value, beliefs, and claims to truth inherent with each form. These three main forms may be thought of as "umbrella" terms for the forms of action research, with various threads of action research originating and continuing to originate from each form. Lastly, this paper explores one thread of action research-participatory action research. The reason for focusing on participatory action research specifically is that this type of action research has grown in popularity recently within social sciences research due to the opportunity for new insight for all research participants. Further, participatory action research allows for joint knowledge-production, may draw attention to previously neglected areas of qualitative research, and is therefore relevant to a specific community. For a researcher considering employing participatory action research, it is helpful to understand the historical and philosophical underpinnings of action research in general in order to better understand the specific intricacies and characteristics of participatory action research.
Canadian Association for Action Research in Education. 260 Dalhousie Street Suite 204, Ottawa, ON KIN 7E4, Canada. Tel: 705-474-3450; Fax: 705-474-1947; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A