Participatory Action Research

Participatory action research (PAR) seeks to understand the world by trying to change it, collaboratively and reflectively. An alternative to positivism in science, this long-standing tradition emphasizes principles of collective inquiry and experimentation grounded in experience and social history. Within a PAR process, "communities of inquiry and action evolve and address questions and issues that are significant for those who participate as co-researchers" (Reason and Bradbury, 2008, p. 1).

PAR practitioners make a concerted effort to integrate three basic aspects of their work: participation (life in society and democracy), action (engagement with experience and history), and research (soundness in thought and the growth of knowledge) (Chevalier and Buckles, 2013, ch. 1). "Action unites, organically, with research" and collective processes of self-investigation (Rahman, 2008, p. 49). The way each component is actually understood and the relative emphasis it receives varies nonetheless from one PAR theory and practice to another. This means that PAR is not a monolithic body of ideas and methods but rather a pluralistic orientation to knowledge making and social change (Chambers, 2008, p. 297; see Allen, 2001; Camic and Joas, 2003; SAS2 Dialogue).


Chevalier and Buckles, 2103, p. 10

Read more about Participatory Action Research:  Overview, Ethics, Challenges

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