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Empowerment, participation and voicing in participative action research Nicolina Montesano Montessori Utrecht University of Applied Sciences, Netherlands.

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Presentation on theme: "Empowerment, participation and voicing in participative action research Nicolina Montesano Montessori Utrecht University of Applied Sciences, Netherlands."— Presentation transcript:

1 Empowerment, participation and voicing in participative action research Nicolina Montesano Montessori Utrecht University of Applied Sciences, Netherlands

2 Introduction  Both presenters are working as practice-oriented researchers with a shared  commitment to social justice and inclusion and  A focus on collaboration, emergent research designs, critical discourse analysis, horizontal research relations and context-relevant research

3 Purpose of this presentation  Sharing examples of small-scale practitioner research, facilitated by experienced researchers from the university of applied sciences ;  Explanation of purposes and characteristics of the research approach developed to reach our specific goals;  Brief explanation of these principles in our first research on social justice (presentation 1);  Presentation of 3 examples of case studies (presentation 2)

4 General characteristics of our research approach  Practitioners and pupils are invited and prepared to act as participant researchers in the project  Horizontal research relations between university and participant researchers  A hermeneutic research approach  Emergent research designs  Participants have ownership of their own part of the research  A shared process of knowledge construction Bielle November 2013EAPRIL empowerment, participation and voicing

5 Methodology  The design of a theoretical-methodological framework based on both participative action research and critical discourse analysis  The use of dialogical methods to collect data  The use or design of new practices in the environment of the participant researchers Bielle November 2013EAPRIL empowerment, participation and voicing

6 Bielle November 2013EAPRIL empowerment, participation and voicing Initial project: social justice in four primary schools Key questions:  How do teachers make sense of the social processes and relationships in their classrooms in terms of social justice?  How do they understand the dilemma’s they experience when trying to realise these social processes and relationships?  How do they understand the institutional, political and cultural conditions in which their teaching is realised in terms of social justice?

7 Bielle November 2013EAPRIL empowerment, participation and voicing Development of an emergent research design  Combination of Participative Action Research and Critical Discourse Analysis  1st cycle: open narrative interviews with teacher participants on their views on and experiences with social justice  Focus group (1)  2nd stage: description and analysis of bumpy moments  Focus group (2)  3rd stage: observation by teachers of specific children and a constructive dialogue  Focusgroup (3)

8 Focus group 1  General check of the outcome of the analysis of the narrative interviews  Teachers defined their own research questions for the next stage of the research  (shift in role: from providing information to becoming a participant researcher)  Teachers define ‘social justice’ as enhancing the self-regulative capacity of pupils  Selection and evaluation of Harvey (1996) model of social justice August ECER Social Justice and Intercultural EducationHU powerpoint template

9 Stage 2 study of bumpy moments  Bumpy moments are moments of tension in the classroom which evoke moral reflections in the teacher: did I take the right action?  First unstructered reports and feedback from university researchers  Second: a design which included description, formulation of alternatives, reflection and plan for the future and feedback from university researchers Bielle November 2013EAPRIL empowerment, participation and voicing

10 Focus group 2  Teachers understood that for social justice to be reached, their focus should shift to the individual child rather than the group  Teachers decided to focus on a particular situation or pupil for the 3rd, reconstruction stage Bielle November 2013EAPRIL empowerment, participation and voicing

11 Stage 3  Pupils started to design instruments to resolve their conflicts (conflict board, re-writing inccidents through narratives)  Pupils designed their own personal action plan when facing difficult moments  Pupils were invited to explain the background of challenging behaviour, after which the road was open for new solutions or different behaviour Bielle November 2013EAPRIL empowerment, participation and voicing

12 Bielle November 2013EAPRIL empowerment, participation and voicing Outcomes 1  The practitioners involved developed an understanding of social justice understood as the facilitation of students in terms of enhancing their self-regulative capacity  Students designed solution-oriented plans which they used when bumpy moments occurred  Teachers developed innovative ways of involving students to solve conflicts or to deal with bumpy moments

13 Bielle November 2013EAPRIL empowerment, participation and voicing Outcomes 2 New research approaches and methods:  The use of narrative inquiry as an instrument for voicing  A template to record bumpy moments and to facilitate reflection and thinking of alternative ways of acting  Applying Harvey’s model from social theory in an educational practice and adding an extra moment to the model

14 Bielle November 2013EAPRIL empowerment, participation and voicing Outcomes 3  Teachers reported that bumpy moments became less frequent  More students developed competencies to regulate their behavior  Students learned to support and help each other and to give and receive feedback  A more organic process of learning and living together led to a more positive, tolerant and stimulating climate in the classroom where individual strengths of students became the prime focus

15 August ECER Social Justice and Intercultural EducationHU powerpoint template Outcomes (4) Shift in definition of dilemmas Narrative enquiryDo we admit a child or not? Shall I address this one child or shall I give my attention to the group? Bumpy momentsShall I intervene or let it go? Shall I intervene now or later? Reconstruction StageWhat does social justice mean for my responsibility as a teacher? If I want to enhance the self regulative capacity of the child, then how should I rearrange the interpersonal relation? Should I let go? Should I always do what the child wants? When do I have to put limits and when not?

16 Bielle November 2013EAPRIL empowerment, participation and voicing References n Ayers, W., Quinn, T. and Stovall, D., (2009). (eds)., Handbook of social justice in education, New York, London: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group. n Carr, W., Kemmis S. (1986). Becoming critical. Education, knowledge, and action research, London: Palmer. n Habermas, J. (1974). Theory and practice. Trans. John Viertel. Londen: Heinemann. n Harvey, D. (1996). Justice, nature and the geography of difference, Oxford: Blackwell. n Kemmis, S., Smith, T. (2008). Enabling Praxis: Challenges for education, Rotterdam, Taipei: Sense Publishers. n Montesano Montessori, N., Schuman, H. & De Lange, R. (2012). Kritische discoursanalyse. De macht en kracht van taal en tekst. Brussel: Academic & Scientific Publishers. n Montesano Montessori, N., Schuman, H. & Ponte, P. (2011). “Omgaan met diversiteit in een reguliere schoolklas n het licht van sociale rechtvaardigheid”. Orthopedagogiek: Onderzoek en Praktijk, 50, nr , pp n Montesano Montessori, N. & Ponte, P. (2012). “Researching classroom communications and relations in the light of social justice”, Educational Action Research 20:2, pp n Reason, P. & Bradbury, H. (Eds.) (2001). Handbook of Action Research – Participative Inquiry and Practice. London: Sage.Trahar, S. (ed.). (2006). n Narrative Research on Learning: comparative and international perspectives, Oxford: Symposium Books. n Van Kan, C.A. van, Ponte, P., Verloop, N. (2009). A phenomenological repertory grid design for understanding moral dimensions in complex teacher - pupil interactions (this article is being submitted for publication). n Young, I.M. (1990). Justice and the politics of difference, Princeton: Princeton University Press.


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