Pupils and teacher as co-researchers: conditions for equal voices

Year: 2010

Author: Smit, Ben H.J., Plomp, Leon, Ponte,  Petra

Type of paper: Refereed paper

In this paper we report on an ongoing participatory action research project in the Netherlands , in which pupils, teachers, and museum and library educators collaboratively study pupils' learning in external educational environments. Members of all three groups have equal roles as co-researchers. As such, the project closely relates to international trends in the field of action research with and by children themselves. We aim at a high level of pupil participation in the project, namely the level of shared decision-making. Furthermore, in line with the work of researchers in Australia , we chose to focus on pupils' learning in external educational contexts (so far: museums and libraries), because we expected this would more easily provoke a change in the relationship between pupils and teachers. We also expected that this would have an impact on their relationships in the regular school context. In this paper we describe the way the participants collaboratively designed the project, aided by academic researchers and facilitators. The paper ends with some preliminary results for the various groups of stakeholders.