Published on March 31, 2008
Complex Adaptive Issues: And the use of PAR to SOLVE them Participatory Action Research E. Alana James, Ed.D.
Definition Participatory Action Research (PAR) = Groups of people (CoPs, networks, family, friends, communities) working together to: Diagnose a situation, Act to improve it, Measure or evaluate their effectiveness, and Reflect on their learning and plan next steps PAR work progresses in cycles, It ends with personal transformation and solutions to some of the trickiest complex adaptive problems we face
Participatory Action Research (PAR)
= Groups of people (CoPs, networks, family, friends, communities) working together to:
Diagnose a situation,
Act to improve it,
Measure or evaluate their effectiveness, and
Reflect on their learning and plan next steps
PAR work progresses in cycles,
It ends with personal transformation and solutions to some of the trickiest complex adaptive problems we face
Complex Adaptive Problems: Where reality hurts, confuses, alienates others By definition complex adaptive problems put people in the middle of the tension between the ideal life we would like to be living and the realities we face. © donna deestea http://www.flickr.com/photos/deestea/198091208/in/set-72057594109664840/ PAR uses the TENSION to create Transformation
What Complex Adaptive Problems Do You Face?
PAR Cycles © Alan Bucknam - Notchcode.com
Diagnose: Employ all the learning tools at your disposal Books Web searching Looking to see what is happening around you Becoming part of online networks Discussing ideas among your participatory group
Act: Individually and as a group. Even small steps make a big difference Take support from your group to succeed Focus on what you are doing right now Not the future Every step by every person counts
Measure: Your progress Your enjoyment of the process Your outcomes Always take the pulse of the people you affect (over coffee, in focus groups and/or interviews) As you are affecting BIG changes, Consistently look for SMALL effects Once in a while survey the larger group to identify overall effect Check in with each other frequently
Reflect: Personal and group reflection not only helps us orient our next steps towards success but reminds us to celebrate the journey as we progress + / - What worked and what was challenging? Personally: Does this work bring you joy? What do you still need to learn? What are your obvious next steps:
Results You Can EXPECT PAR has proven itself to be TRANSFORMATIONAL work As participants have said: I will never teach in the same way again I could never have this life, these results and this wonderment if I had not learned the PAR process.
Collaged photos from flickr.com If you are doing this work, or interested in doing this work and you need help, please contact me at: [email_address]
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