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Participatory action research as a way of balancing the scales

Author:
Haworth, Penny | Haddock, Daniel

Year: 1999

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Abstract: Traditionally, research has maintained a power differential between the researchers who carry out research on teachers and teaching, and the teachers who are supposedly the intended beneficiaries of the research. Oakley (1994) characterises this as the difference between research by researchers and research for those being researched. This paper examines the potential of participatory action research (PAR) as a way of balancing the knowledge of teachers and researchers, and allowing the knowledge of each to be valued. Participants in the symposium will have the opportunity to evaluate the potential effects of a range of practical strategies for establishing and maintaining effective relationships among participants in PAR projects. Examples from several PAR projects will be included to illustrate key ideas in this topic. In particular, practical examples will be used from a specific PAR project which focused on a Ministry of Education assessment package for identifying those students from a non-English speaking background who required resource funding. This project aimed to link the assessment package with the establishment of effective aims and strategies for teaching.

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