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Education Literature Alerts: Sept. & Oct. '17 - Participatory Action Research

Items of interest from VCC Library

Education Literature Alerts

Recommended Books

Articles of Interest

Bergold, J., & Thomas, S. (2012). Participatory research methods: a methodological approach in motion. Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 13(1).

"In recent years there has been a resurgence of interest in participatory research strategies. The articles in this special issue come from different disciplines. Against the background of concrete empirical research projects, they address numerous conceptual considerations and methodological approaches." [Abstract excerpt from the authors]


Cassano, R.D., Judith. (2005). Participatory action research with South Asian immigrant women: a Canadian example. Critical Social Work, 6(1).

"Participatory Action Research (PAR) is presented as similar to social work in regard to processes, outcomes and empowerment. The challenges in utilizing PAR in social work are explored using the example of a PAR project ... This paper proposes a set of considerations to facilitate the use of Participatory Action Research in social work." [Abstract excerpt from the author]


de Brún, T., Brún, M. O., O’Donnell, C. A., MacFarlane, A., & O’Reilly-de Brún, M. (2016). Learning from doing: the case for combining normalisation process theory and participatory learning and action research methodology for primary healthcare implementation research. BMC Health Services Research, 16, 1–12.

"The implementation of research findings is not a straightforward matter. There are substantive and recognised gaps in the process of translating research findings into practice and policy. In order to overcome some of these translational difficulties, a number of strategies have been proposed for researchers. These include greater use of theoretical approaches in research focused on implementation, and use of a wider range of research methods appropriate to policy questions and the wider social context in which they are placed." [Abstract excerpt from the authors]


"This study is to examine whether the implementation of CL in an intensive reading class has a positive effect on improving the passive situation of students, whether it helps activate their enthusiasm for and ease their anxiety of participation in language class activities, and whether it is helpful to their improvement of English proficiency." [Abstract excerpt from the author]


Geres, K. (2016). Resilience through storytelling in the EAL classroom. TESL Canada Journal, 33, 62–85.

"This article describes a study to explore how teachers of secondary students who were new to Canada used storytelling and what stories the students wanted to tell. The results of the study are discussed in regard to teachers' reflections on storytelling with EAL students." [Abstract excerpt from the author]


Hernández-Hernández, F., & Sancho-Gil, J. M. (2015). A learning process within an education research group: an approach to learning qualitative research methods. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 18(6), 651–667.

"This paper builds on the history of Esbrina, an established research group in Spain with almost 20 years’ experience and a deeply-rooted tradition of self-reflection and learning. We start by analysing the academic and social contexts in which the group was created and recognised. We make explicit team members’ backgrounds, dispositions and positionalities, to provide insight into the tensions aroused in deciding research topics, methodological approaches and research methods. Then we focus on two specific projects and explore the learning processes of those engaged in them ..." [Abstract excerpt from the authors]


Jacobs, J. (2012). Teacher leaders and equity-centered pedagogy: empowerment and development through action research. Journal of Research in Education, 22(2), 74–102.

"This qualitative research study examined the experiences of five teacher leaders enrolled in an instructional leadership master's degree cohort who engaged in equity-focused action research. Specifically, the study focused on: 'How do teacher leaders describe their development as equity-centered leaders after engaging in action research?' Findings point to how teacher leaders became empowered and increased in their confidence to advocate for change." [Abstract excerpt from the author]


"Participatory Action Research (PAR) has been increasingly viewed as an effective strategy to enhance youth, community-based organizations that serve youth, and broader communities. However, young people have not been frequently involved in research and evaluation efforts as co-researchers or partners. This paper explored major challenges and barriers to the active engagement of youth identified in previous PAR projects. This critical literature review revealed relational, scientific, and ethical challenges." [Abstract excerpt from the author]


MacDonald, C. (2012). Understanding participatory action research: a qualitative research methodology option. The Canadian Journal of Action Research, 13(2), 34–50.

This article strives to "...contextualize PAR in terms of its history, principles, definitions, and strengths, as well as discuss challenges and practical suggestions for using PAR. In addition, it will examine focus groups and interviews as methods for data collection, the role of PAR in education, and the types of research for which PAR is best suited." [Abstract excerpt from the author]


Mason, K. (2015). Participatory action research: coproduction, governance and care. Geography Compass, 9(9), 497–507.

"In the wake of recent academic interest in coproduction, engaged research and transdisciplinarity, this article reviews some developments and directions in participatory action research (PAR), mainly within human geography. It examines one response to poststructuralist critiques that PAR either elides power relations or conversely can be equated to tyranny, namely a proposal to view PAR as a form of governance." [Abstract excerpt from the author]


McCarthy, G. (2015). Motivating and enabling adult learners to develop research skills. Australian Journal of Adult Learning, 55(2), 309–330.

"This paper offers an alternative to the individual master-apprentice model to which many research students are still exposed. Addressing the motivational needs identified in self-determination theory (autonomy, competence and relatedness) as well as self-efficacy and incorporating good practices in feedback, it outlines a way to make the process of learning how to do research more engaging than sitting listening to lectures." [Abstract excerpt from the author]


Morales, M. P. E. (2016). Participatory action research (PAR) cum action research (AR) in teacher professional development: a literature review. International Journal of Research in Education and Science, 2(1), 156–165.

"This paper reviews Participatory Action Research as an approach to teacher professional development. It maps the origins of Participatory Action Research (PAR) and discusses the benefits and challenges that have been identified by other researchers in utilizing PAR approaches in conducting research." [Abstract excerpt from the author]


Northway, R., Hurley, K., O’Connor, C., Thomas, H., Howarth, J., Langley, E., & Bale, S. (2014). Deciding what to research: an overview of a participatory workshop. British Journal of Learning Disabilities, 42(4), 323–327.

"While recent years have seen an increase in the number of participatory and inclusive research studies being undertaken where people with learning disabilities are active members of the research team, little has been published about how teams decide what to research. This paper aims to fill this gap by discussing how in one area of Wales a participatory workshop was held to try and identify priority areas for research" [Abstract excerpt from the authors]


Walmsley, J. (2014). Telling the history of self-advocacy: a challenge for inclusive research. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 27(1), 34–43.

"This paper tells the story of Central England People First's (CEPF) History Project. Method: This was an inclusive research project, owned and controlled by members of CEPF which sought to chart its 21-year history, 1990-2012." [Abstract excerpt from the authors]


Videos (not strictly literature, but interesting nonetheless!)

Abe Oudshoorn - Participatory Action Research | Prof. Oudshoorn, School of Nursing, U. of Western Ontario, on PAR -  "A basic description of participatory action research in practice." https://youtu.be/yrF7cVESMzg  (38 minutes)

ARNA 2015 - Why create on online course in action research? | Margaret Riel, from Peppardine University, delivers the first of 13 tutorials on Action Research course creation.   "This video was recorded at the second Action Research Network of the Americas conference in Bethlehem, PA. to describe the process of creating the tutorials on ccar.wikispaces.com." https://youtu.be/xWNGg8iRxbY (3:42)

UMass SPARC | John Delman, from U. of Massachusetts Systems & Psychosocial Advances Research Center (SPARC) on Participatory Action Research and its importance. https://youtu.be/ocY1UwQbo9U (2:34)

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