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- Boser, S. (2007). Power, ethics, and the IRB: Dissonance over human participant review of participatory research. Qualitative Inquiry, 13(8), 1060-1074.
Participatory research operates in a complex, dynamic social milieu and seeks to share the power inherent in knowledge generation with community partners. Institutional review boards (IRBs), however, typically operate from a framework that assumes asymmetrical power relations, hierarchically structured. This article argues that these differing assumptions regarding power contribute to the challenges participatory researchers experience in obtaining IRB approval. Furthermore, the application of the conventional IRB framework in reviewing the ethics of participatory inquiry can itself harm human participants in such projects by limiting the participants' field of choices. This article addresses these challenges, presenting a framework that draws on the literature on power to consider the ethical questions involved in participatory research partnerships. It also describes some ways in which power imbalance might manifest within a participatory research project, and between a project and an IRB, and offers specific strategies for addressing this.
- Cargo, M., Delormier, T., Levesque, L., Horn-Miller, K., McComber, A., & Macaulay, A. C. (2008). Can the democratic ideal of participatory research be achieved? an inside look at an academic-indigenous community partnership. Health Education Research, 23(5), 904-914.
Democratic or equal participation in decision making is an ideal that community and academic stakeholders engaged in participatory research strive to achieve. This ideal, however, may compete with indigenous peoples' right to self-determination. Study objectives were to assess the perceived influence of multiple community (indigenous) and academic stakeholders engaged in the Kahnawake Schools Diabetes Prevention Project (KSDPP) across six domains of project decision making and to test the hypothesis that KSDPP would be directed by community stakeholders. Self-report surveys were completed by 51 stakeholders comprising the KSDPP Community Advisory Board (CAB), KSDPP staff, academic researchers and supervisory board members. KSDPP staff were perceived to share similar levels of influence with (i) CAB on maintaining partnership ethics and CAB activities and (ii) academic researchers on research and dissemination activities. KSDPP staff were perceived to carry significantly more influence than other stakeholders on decisions related to annual activities, program operations and intervention activities. CAB and staff were the perceived owners of KSDPP. The strong community leadership aligns KSDPP with a model of community-directed research and suggests that equitable participation--distinct from democratic or equal participation--is reflected by indigenous community partners exerting greater influence than academic partners in decision making.
- Cheney, K. E. (2011). Children as ethnographers: Reflections on the importance of participatory research in assessing orphans' needs. Childhood: A Global Journal of Child Research, 18(2), 166-179.
Critiques of child participation within aid programming suggest that it is superficial and insubstantive for the fulfilment of children's rights. By employing former child research participants as youth research assistants, the collaborative research design developed for my research project on the survival strategies of African orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) has yielded insights with implications for policy and practice that could not be gained without the extended ethnographic inclusion of children, as both participants and researchers. In this article, I share my reflections on doing participatory ethnography with children and youth to demonstrate that ethnographic research is appropriate to the tasks of increasing both children's participation and the effectiveness of children's rights--especially when it models children's participation in its own research design. Further, I argue that involving young people in research can yield greater ownership of organizational practice and become transformative of young people and their relationships with their communities.
- Collins, S. (2004). Ecology and ethics in participatory collaborative action research: An argument for the authentic participation of students in educational research. Educational Action Research, 12(3), 347-362. Permalink
A conception of action research is offered that is collaborative, participatory, targets ethical issues and includes students. Collaboration is "organic" in that all members share the goal of the research and are interdependent in pursuing that goal. Participation is authentic, requiring a continuing negotiation of planning, roles, power differences and language. An ecological approach to ethics is examined in which the research community is regarded as an interconnected, interdependent, holistic system of language, relationships and ideas. A rationale for the authentic participation of students in research is offered based on ethical requirements, improved research benefits and professional enhancement.
- Draper, R. J., Adair, M., Broomhead, P., Gray, S., Grierson, S., Hendrickson, S., . . . Wright, G. (2011). Seeking renewal, finding community: Participatory action research in teacher education. Teacher Development, 15(1), 1-18.
This narrative study describes the experiences of a group of teacher educators as they worked together in a collaborative research activity investigating theories of literacy and the preparation of secondary teachers. The collaboration was organized around the precepts associated with participatory action research (PAR). After four years of collaboration, the narratives of the members of the group revealed (a) changes to the practices and identities of the participants, (b) how the group formed a community, and (c) the ways in which the institution supported the work of the group. Organizing collaborative activities around PAR holds promise to not only produce quality research, but to support the improvement of teacher preparation programs and the development of teacher educators. However, this work requires institutional support that fosters collaborative work without mandating either collaborations or outcomes.
- Kuriloff, P. J., Andrus, S. H., & Ravitch, S. M. (2011). Messy ethics: Conducting moral participatory action research in the crucible of university-school relations. Mind, Brain, and Education, 5(2), 49-62.
In this article we argue that when university researchers engage in democratic participatory action research with schools the process requires a special type of attention to the ethical difficulties which can arise. We note how current professional standards of ethics are inadequate to fully address many of the dilemmas faced in collaborative research. We then share examples of ethical dilemmas that have arisen in our work with schools and demonstrate how each has contributed to the (developing) framework we have created to avoid or manage the kinds of messy ethical issues we describe. We argue that this framework reflects a continuous commitment to an ethics of practice. We believe that those engaged in this type of work must assume an ethical stance and view all decisions in the research process as ethical ones that potentially affect the lives of all of those involved.
- Minkler, M. (2004). Ethical challenges for the "outside" researcher in community-based participatory research. Health Education & Behavior, 31(6), 684-697.
Although community-based participatory research (CBPR) shares many of the core values of health education and related fields, the outside researcher embracing this approach to inquiry frequently is confronted with thorny ethical challenges. Following a brief review of the conceptual and historical roots of CBPR, Kelly's ecological principles for community-based research and Jones's three-tiered framework for understanding racism are introduced as useful frameworks for helping explore several key challenges. These are (a) achieving a true "community-driven" agenda; (b) insider-outsider tensions; (c) real and perceived racism; (d) the limitations of "participation;" and (e) issues involving the sharing, ownership, and use of findings for action. Case studies are used in an initial exploration of these topics. Green et al.'s guidelines for appraising CBPR projects then are highlighted as an important tool for helping CBPR partners better address the challenging ethical issues often inherent in this approach.
- Ospina, S., El Hadidy, W., & Hofmann-Pinilla, A. (2008). Cooperative inquiry for learning and connectedness. Action Learning: Research and Practice, 5(2), 131-147.
There has been rising concern about the disconnect between universities, their communities and society at large. This is of special interest to professional schools, whose missions are founded on connecting practice and theory. We argue that cooperative inquiry, an action-based methodology, can help foster connectedness and contribute to healing the university-society schism. Doing this requires more than mere replication of the methodology; it entails engaging in dialectics with practitioners, a process that is mediated both by democratic aspirations and claims of authority. We share our experience working with social change practitioners on collaborative research about leadership, highlighting the dialectics and implications for academics wishing to capitalize on cooperative inquiry for connectedness.
- Peters, M., & Gauthier, K. (2009). Integrating community engaged research into existing school of education graduate research courses.Online Submission. Permalink
This article outlines the importance of Community Engaged Research, and how it can be embedded into an existing Master of Science in Education degree program at Dominican University of California. Community Engaged Research rejects the traditional research model, opting instead for a dialogic approach to research. Both the community and the researchers must participate in the analysis process as data is irrelevant without considering the context in which the data was discovered. When evaluating the role of service in education, Community Engaged Research provides a clear connection between educators, students and the community in a service oriented way. An ideal balance will come from creating a curriculum which allows for and supports Community Engaged Research, but does not require it.
- Sandy, M. (2011). Practical Beauty and the Legacy of Pragmatism: Generating Theory for Community-Engaged Scholarship. Interchange: A Quarterly Review Of Education, 42(3), 261-285. Permalink
In this paper the author considers how Hans-Georg Gadamer's philosophical hermeneutics can complement the pragmatic theory that has informed the field of service-learning, and with its emphasis on community and respect for others, can offer an orientation to further the work of service-learning and community engagement in a mutually satisfying way for scholars, practitioners, and community partners. In keeping with Gadamer's contention that mythological thinking has its rightful place alongside analytical thinking, I provide an interpretation of the myth of Hermes for emancipatory education practice, and then invite readers to consider some implications of philosophical hermeneutics through traditional philosophical exposition. I posit there is much to be gained by framing community engagement as a civic art or "practical beauty" with a distinct epistemological foundation that values conversation, participation, and open-ended, collective processes to work for the common good. This orientation would require us to reconsider the purposes and reorient the values of this field of educational practice.
- Simpson, J. L., & Seibold, D. R. (2008). Practical engagements and co-created research. Journal of Applied Communication Research, 36(3), 266-280.
In this essay we foreground the value of engaging meaningfully with practitioners in our work. We review research by scholars whose work cuts across topics and contexts to gain insight into the power and practice of human communication as it shapes the world in which we live-highlighting work that is at its best because of its co-creation with practitioners. We propose five key features that provide a simple yet robust framework for developing and assessing the quality and value of engaged scholarship. Our thesis is that the best engaged scholarship may or may not be widely disseminated, but it is widely owned by co-creators who believe in its purpose and product.
- Small, S. A., & Uttal, L. (2005). Action-oriented research: Strategies for engaged scholarship. Journal of Marriage and Family, 67(4), 936-948.
Action-oriented research is a methodological approach for doing collaborative research with practitioners and community partners that can inform practice, programs, community development, and policy while contributing to the scientific knowledge base. This article discusses how family scholars can use action-oriented research to work together with community partners to address their need for useful information about their practices and programs. We present some practical strategies that can help guide the action-oriented research process including how to develop collaborative relationships with community partners; suggestions for determining sound, action-oriented research questions; guidelines for selecting and implementing appropriate research designs; and considerations regarding data collection and the dissemination of findings.
- Subedi, B., & Rhee, J. (2008). Negotiating collaboration across differences. Qualitative Inquiry, 14(6), 1070-1092.
Through auto-ethnographic approach, this article extends contemporary debates on the need to further conceptualize and practice collaborative approaches to research. By exploring the complex dimensions of collaboration, this discussion traces the challenges of researching communities one affiliates with, particularly in relation to ethnic, cultural, and "unusual" researcher-researched positional differences. Also, by describing the dilemmas faced in translating languages spoken by respondents, the authors explain how the issues of language and representation complicate the collaborative relationships of research. This discussion proposes that investigators reexamine how they have interacted with participants in everyday contexts and aims to help researchers redefine the meaning of collaborative research across differences.
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