Participatory Action Research: Improving Professional Practices and Local Situations


Participatory Action Research employs social sciences research methods to develop actionable local knowledge. In seeking meaningful and inclusive ways of generating knowledge together in the workplace, Participatory Action Research practitioner–researchers combine action and reflection with theory and practice to improve local situations and enhance professional practices. Working with and for others, co-researchers evolve learning cycles that are practical and emergent, participatory and collaborative, emancipatory and democratic, and interpretive and local. In this case, the cyclical ‘methods in action’ orientation of Participatory Action Research is illustrated through examples from a North American academic library facility renovation initiative. Practical advice is offered on proposal planning and study implementation in organizational settings. In addition, learning outcomes and discussion questions enable reflective project planning and iterative evaluation.

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