Beyond the binary of researcher/researched: the complexities of participatory action research

Edited book (chapter)


Hawkins, Karen. 2011. "Beyond the binary of researcher/researched: the complexities of participatory action research." Midgley, Warren, Tyler, Mark A., Danaher, Patrick Alan and Mander, Alison (ed.) Beyond binaries in education research. New York, USA. Routledge. pp. 147-160
Chapter Title

Beyond the binary of researcher/researched: the complexities of participatory action research

Book Chapter CategoryEdited book (chapter)
ERA Publisher ID3137
3415
Book TitleBeyond binaries in education research
Authors
AuthorHawkins, Karen
EditorsMidgley, Warren, Tyler, Mark A., Danaher, Patrick Alan and Mander, Alison
Page Range147-160
SeriesRoutledge Research in Education
Chapter Number11
Number of Pages14
Year2011
PublisherRoutledge
Taylor & Francis
Place of PublicationNew York, USA
ISBN9780415885126
Abstract

This chapter explores the binaries of researcher/researched and, to a certain extent, objectivity/subjectivity by outlining a participatory action research (PAR) project situated in early childhood contexts. To do this it
delves deeply into the project's methodological concepts and therefore may be considered a conceptual chapter. The background and justification as to why PAR was the design of choice for this project are offered.

It is argued that action research, while overlapping significantly with the qualitative paradigm, has distinct differences in the way in which action researchers work with others and that the distinction between researcher
and participants becomes blurred during the collaborative relationship. The chapter highlights that this study was carried out with and by, as opposed to on, participants and so it bypassed the traditional division between
researcher and researched. Although PAR is considered a socially just mode of inquiry, it is not without its tensions, complexities, and challenges, which
the chapter explains.

However, it also puts forward strategies that the study adopted to address these tensions, complexities, and challenges. It offers strategies to assist the facilitator of a PAR project; strategies to assist coresearchers form a coherent PAR team; and strategies to assist the PAR team forge ahead and address the complex web of power and privilege. These strategies go a long way in confronting and addressing the binary of researcher/researched.

Keywordseducation research; research; researcher; participatory action research
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020390499. Specialist studies in education not elsewhere classified
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Byline AffiliationsFaculty of Education
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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