(Participatory) Action Research: Principles, Approaches and Applications


Joseph Calder and Jacob Foletta (Editors)

Series: Research Methodology and Data Analysis
BISAC: EDU037000

In this book, authors present current research on the implementation of reform mathematics in order to identify, explore, and evaluate five specific goals. Students were presented with problem solving activities that correlated with real-world situations. During this process, students tracked their confidence and growth as mathematicians. Next, the ways in which students learn to effectively engage in natural discussions related to the literature they are reading are examined. Barriers to the implementation of literature circles in the classroom are discussed, and ideas for successful execution are highlighted. Action research (AR) leaders’ roles are explored through two studies, with the frame constituting of K-20 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and how participant engagement leads to AR project insight. The authors provide suggestions for future AR leaders. Afterwards, this compilation goes on to discuss how teaching Participatory Action Research (PAR) in MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning has led to focus on the responsibilities of action researchers and their obligations to the communities and places in which they work; and the importance of building the capacity of community members so that they can take control of the research being done about, with, and for them.

The authors explore the way in which Curriculum Studies have addressed relevance and by proposing a framework for the study of curriculum relevance in general, which was adapted from literature on Science Education. The proposal considers three dimensions of relevance: societal, vocational, and individual. A chapter is included which fully addresses the analysis of one of the cases developed in the authors’ previous work, in which students have to reconstruct their memories about the experiences they had during compulsory education in order to compare them with the experiences they have during the practicum. The authors share their concerns about the process of accompaniment, the process of student participation in the design and assessment of the subjects, and the search for situated and transformative learning in a university context. The book proposes the use of action research in higher education, especially in programs that use practical approaches such as residency programs in healthcare.

The text also discusses similar themes such as andragogy, meaningful learning, active learning, and systemic thinking. Additionally, a teacher-driven approach for changes in teaching chemical bonding was chosen, inspired by the PAR model suggested by Eilks and Ralle. The authors determine that remote networking of a teacher action researcher with a PAR-driven community of practitioners and academic educational researchers helped strengthen the process of research and development and contributed to strengthen the teacher’s continuous professional development. Subsequently, an application of participatory action research (PAR) conducted in Italy is illustrated. In describing the structure of action research, it can first be asserted that it is not a linear methodology of research but instead a cyclical process that proceeds through greater levels of complexity. In conclusion, the book aims to determine the relationship between the principles, approaches and applications of participatory action research (PAR) by using a case study of wood-carving workers. The authors maintain that although this project was successful in increasing health awareness of the workers and the community, long-term impact and sustainability of networking and activities need to be examined.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Exploring the Benefits of Reform Mathematics: Goals in Becoming Mathematically Literate
(Laura Ann Hayden, Indianapolis Public Schools/Butler University Laboratory School, Indianapolis, IN, USA)

Chapter 2. Literature Circles as Tools for Student Dialogue and Empowerment
(Ryan Flessner, Butler University, College of Education, Indianapolis, IN, USA)

Chapter 3. Action Research: The Researcher’s Role and Engagement in K-20 STEM Education
(Andrea C. Burrows, Meghan Lockwood, Christina Belardo, and Edward Janak, Ph.D., School of Teacher Education, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY, USA, and others)

Chapter 4. Teaching Participatory Action Research: The Search for Pedagogical Insights
(Lawrence Susskind, Dayna Cunningham, and Isadora Araujo Cruxên, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA, and others)

Chapter 5. Using Action Research and an Imported Conceptual Framework to Study the Individual Dimension of Curriculum Relevance
(Francisco Sousa, Faculty of Social and Human Sciences, University of the Azores, Angra do Heroísmo, Portugal, and others)

Chapter 6. Transforming University Teaching: Participatory Action Research to Promote Disruptive Practices
(Elia Fernández-Díaz, Carlos Rodríguez-Hoyos, and Adelina Calvo, Department of Education, University of Cantabria, Santander, Spain)

Chapter 7. Action Research to Improve Higher Education
(Alecsandra Ventura, PhD, Postgraduate Management Department, University Hospital of the Federal University of Alagoas, Maceió, Brazil)

Chapter 8. Teacher-Centred Action Research in a Remote Participatory Environment: A Reflection on a Case of Chemistry Curriculum Innovation in a Swiss Vocational School
(Ivano Laudonia and Ingo Eilks, Gewerbliche Berufsschule Chur (Vocational School), Chur, Switzerland

Chapter 9. From Group Development to Intervention: Applying Participatory Action Research in Italy
(Nadia Rania, PhD, Alessandra Brameri, Laura Migliorini, PhD, and Emanuela Gandolfo, Department of Education Sciences, University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy, and others)

Chapter 10. The Application of Participatory Action Research to Enhance the Health Care of the Wood-Carving Community
(Susanha Yimyam, MD, PhD and Avorn Opatpatanakit, MD, PhD, Faculty of Nursing, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai, Thailand, and others)


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