Learning and Teaching Participation through Action Research
In a time of rapid change, when global forces are re-shaping the ability of ordinary people to influence the decisions which affect their lives, social change practitioners are challenged to learn new skills and competences, and to develop their capacities for learning through critical reflection on action. Drawing on two international dialogues, and linking to the authors' perceptions of the fault-lines that underlie some elements of higher education, the article explores learning needs for action researchers who aspire to promote participation as a key element of social change.
The article presents the story of an innovative masters teaching programme within which action research is central to the overall learning process. Highlighting key challenges and also some unanticipated learning outcomes in regard to personal inquiry into identity, relationships, positionality and power, the article highlights issues relating to teaching and learning methods of reflective practice, bridging the personal and political and linking individual to systemic change.