Overview of PAR Readings

Merrifield, Juliet. (1997, February). Knowing, Learning, Doing, Participatory Action Research, NCSALL, 1 (A). Retrieved from: http://www.ncsall.net/index.php@id=479.html
This article poses several central questions behind PAR: Why do we do research? Who benefits from it? Who uses the information we gather and what for? What is worth researching? Merrifield discusses PAR not as a research methodology, but as an approach to research and learning. This article discusses the ideas central to PAR: participation, action, and knowledge.

PAR Overview, Research Methodologies, PAR in Action

Wadsworth, Yolanda. (1998). What is Participatory Action Research? Action Research International, Paper 2.
Wadsworth’s paper, from the online journal Action Research International, contrasts PAR with conventional forms of research. The author describes PAR as social research that is conscious and collectivist in nature. She stresses that PAR is always participatory and allows for action, critical reflection, and inquiry throughout the process.

Overview of PAR, Research Methodologies

Weber-Pillwax, Cora. (2009). When Research Becomes a Revolution: Participatory Action Research with Indigenous Peoples. In Dip Kapoor & Steven Jordan (Eds.), Education, Participatory Action Research, and Social Change (pp. 45 – 58), New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.
Weber-Pillwax reflects on her experience growing up in northern Alberta, Canada and learning Indigenous Research Methodologies (IRM) and the parallels between this methodology and PAR. Weber-Pillwax contrasts PAR to traditional research methods, highlighting the ways a PAR process requires the intimate involvement of the researcher and the researched and prioritizes collective over individual research methods. Weber-Pillwax asserts that PAR research must be engaged with a desire and willingness to work for transformation or change, whether personal and/or collective.

Transformation, Collective leadership, Overview of PAR

Aggarwal, Ujju; Gonzalez, Priscilla; Nevel, Donna; & Placencia, Perla. (2009). Women Creating Change: The Center for Immigrant Families’ English Literacy Project. In Mev Miller & Kathleen King (Eds.) Empowering Women Through Literacy, Charlotte, NC: Info Age Publishing.
This paper documents the history and development of the Center for Immigrant Families (CIF) in New York City, specifically its popular education-based English Literacy Project. It discusses the group’s work for justice and community-building through a process of personal and collective transformation and storytelling.

Storytelling, Documentation, Social Justice, Transformation, Community Organizing, PAR in Action