Participatory Action Research

International Contexts and Consequences

Edited by Robin McTaggart

Subjects: Curriculum
Series: SUNY series, Teacher Preparation and Development
Paperback : 9780791435342, 292 pages, October 1997
Hardcover : 9780791435335, 292 pages, November 1997

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Table of contents


1. Reading the Collection
Robin McTaggart

2. Guiding Principles for Participatory Action Research
Robin McTaggart

3. Action Research: A Closed Chapter in the History of German Social Science?
Herbert Altrichter and Peter Gstettner

4. Action Research: The Problem of Participation
Clem Adelman

5. Participatory Action Research in Colombia: Some Personal Feelings
Orlando Fals Borda

6. Toward an Epistemology of Participatory Research
Anil Chaudhary

7. Participatory Educational Research in Australia: The First Wave—1976 to 1986
Shirley Grundy

8. Participatory Research in Venezuela: 1973 to 1991
John Dinan and Yuraima Garcia

9. A Background to Action Research in Spain
Maria Saez Brezmes

10. Sources of a Theory for Action Research in the United States of America
William H. Schubert and Ann Lopez-Schubert

11. Integrating Participatory Action Research Tools in New Caledonia
Jean Delion

12. Action Research: Improving Learning from Experience in Nurse Education in Thailand
Arphorn Chuaprapaisilp

13. A Census as Participatory Research
Srilatha Batliwala and Sheela Patel


Presents an engaging introduction to the international conversation about enhancing social and educational practice using participatory action research.


In this book the authors tell their stories of action research in their own ways, and indeed, give expression to their own cultural positioning as they draw upon their extensive experience in the field and the academy. They write in terms of their own experience, but with a collective as well as individual purpose. Contributors describe the history of participatory action research, and identify its interpretations in the diverse cultural contexts of Colombia, India, Austria, Australia, Venezuela, USA, England, Spain, Thailand, and New Caledonia. Drawing on the fields of nursing, education, community development, land reform, popular education, agriculture, and mass media, the authors describe the development of democratic research practice in quite different institutional and cultural contexts.Teachers, social workers, managers, nurses, adult educators, and agricultural extension and community development workers will all find this collection of writings from key participatory action research practitioners useful and informative.

Adjunct Professor Robin McTaggart is Pro-Vice-Chancellor Staff Development and Student Affairs in the School of Education at James Cook University, Australia.


"This rich and diverse collection of essays adds to our understanding of the potential of action research through its strong international perspective on this important topic." — Dwight L. Rogers, School of Education, University of North Carolina —Chapel Hill

"The general dissatisfaction with traditional research paradigms in the social sciences, humanities, and professions (such as education, nursing) has sparked an interest in exploring alternatives, and participatory action research is a natural. The topic is one which pushes researchers to think about issues of politics, ethics, and epistemology in new ways." — Sandra Mathison, State University of New York at Albany"

This book is unique in beginning to link research to social movements and communitarian politics. Participatory action research recognizes the value of local, insider's knowledge and the different forms such knowledge can take. The contributors argue the importance of respecting 'the ordinary knowledge and practice of everyday life,' often in opposition to an institutional culture where such knowledge has little status." — Robert B. Stevenson, State University of New York at Buffalo