Creating alternative research methods: Learning to do it by doing it.

Freire, P. (1982). Creating alternative research methods: Learning to do it by doing it. Creating knowledge: A monopoly, 29-37.

This paper focuses on methods of participatory research that have been drawn from work done in Australia. The author cautions against overreliance on one set of principles while others are also relevant; therefore he lists what principles of participatory research are and what they are not. There is a diversity of disciplines where participatory research is applied so participatory research might mean different things to different people. A key feature in action research is that those affected by a certain problem have the primary responsibility of deciding on the kind of action to be taken to hopefully address the problem. The difference between ‘participation’ and ‘involvement’ is also discussed as something researchers intending to use participatory action research approach must consider. The author argues that there is more to participatory research other than learning; it also involves knowledge production and action using new ways of relating to each other to make reform possible. The methods that participatory action researchers use such as case studies are described. Five things which do not compose participatory research are listed to help researchers when choosing their methodology. Practical examples of the principles in action are also included.

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