11.236
Participatory Action Research (PAR) 1

This course introduces students to Participatory Action Research (PAR), an approach to research and inquiry that enables communities to examine and address consequential societal problems. By bringing together community researchers and academics to investigate imoprtant problems and determine what ought to be done, PAR seeks to transform existing unequal power relationships between marginalized groups and those traditionally considered “expert” researchers. This six-week module will explore theoretical and practical questions at the heart of partnerships between applied social scientists and community partners. Our focus includes: the history of PAR and Action Research; debates regarding PAR as a form of applied social science; and practical, political, and ethical questions in the practice of PAR. Students will be guided through an iterative process for developing their own personal theories of practice and will work in small groups to create a PAR Lexicon.

6 week module, begins the 1st week of classes