Selected Timeline of the Social History of Participatory Action Research (PAR) Methodologies
(Slightly adapted from a timeline I developed on my Carleton University web page (2003) to complement and share my PhD comprehensive exam).
1913 Moreno, Dr. Jacob Levy, (1889-1974) originated psychodrama, sociodrama, role training, sociometry, group psychotherapy. Moreno left Vienna and moved to America in 1925. He was influential in the social sciences. He originated psychodrama in 1921 a forerunner of creative arts therapies. He founded the American Society of Group Psychotherapy and Psychodrama (ASGPP) in 1942. In 1918 Moreno was using the term ‘drama’ to refer to “the activation of religious, ethical and cultural values in spontaneous-dramatic form”. It has been argued that the Austrian physician, social philospher, and poet Jacob Moreno was a pioneer in developing the idea of practitioner research (Gunz, 1996).”McTaggert (1992:2) cites work by Gstettner and Altricher which has a physician named Moreno using group participation in 1913 in a community development initiative with prostitutes in Vienna. ”
1940’s Kurt Lewin is often credited with being the “father” of action research, especially in social psychology and education (for example, Kemmis, 1988: 29). When Lewin went to the US, he had been much influenced by Moreno, the inventor of group dynamics and sociodrama and psychodrama. Moreno had already developed a view of action research in which the “action” was about activism, not just about changing practice or behaviour understood in narrowly individualistic terms. Moreno was interested in research as a part of social movement. “Despite the clouded origins of action research, Kurt Lewin, in the mid 1940s constructed a theory of action research, which described action research as “proceeding in a spiral of steps, each of which is composed of planning, action and the evaluation of the result of action” (Kemmis and McTaggert 1990:8). ”
1945 – 1975 The new First Nations middle class emerged in Canada during the period of rapid growth following WWII (1945 – 1975) and includes managers, administrators, professionals and technicians. Cree bureaucrats in James Bay and the Alaskan business class emerged and reproduced itself. These groups mastered the technical idiom and directed PAR. They shared middle-class values with non-aboriginals and recognised that a fully-participatory research process which included all classes of aboriginal society, would challenge the status quo. (Jackson 1993:55)
1960 “The Rockefeller Foundation opened a field office in Cali, Colombia in 1960, ten years after the establishment of the Colombian Agricultural Program in Bogota. Guy S. Hayes, an Assistant Director in the Medical and Natural Sciences division, held the post of Field Director in Cali from 1960 until 1970. After 1970, the office was headed by Foundation Representatives Patrick N. Owens (1970-1974) and Farzam Arbab (1974-1978). The office closed on December 31, 1983.”
1973 International Council for Adult Education: Toronto, ON founded by J. Roby Kidd. In 1975 this organization became a major advocate of participatory action research. The ICAE involved local communities in data collection and problem identification. Academics, who were also community workers, collaborated with local community participants on research projects. “The overall objective of the Council is to promote human resource development, to enable people to participate more fully in determining their economic, social, political and cultural development.” International Council for Adult Education The aim of the Council is to promote the education of adults in accordance with the development needs of individuals, communities and societies as a way of enhancing international understanding; achieving economic and social development; advancing the skills and competencies of individuals and groups.
1960s Migration of Aboriginal people to urban areas grew in 1960s and 1970s. (Jackson 1993:58) “Fin des années ’60, se développa une rébellion contre le savoir universitaire, notamment par la recherche appelée en Allemagne “Aktivierende Befragung” (enquête mobilisatrice). Il s’agissait, par exemple, d’aller de porte à porte dans les quartiers pour entamer une conversation dont le but était d’inviter à la réflexion. Ainsi, tel agent dit “il paraît que le club de jeunes du quartier cause des problèmes car il y a eu vandalisme. Qu’en pensez-vous ?”. La synthèse des conversations ayant été faite, celle-ci est restituée aux gens du quartier, par pâté de maison. Cette enquête débouche sur une action en commun. Convergence the International Journal of Adult Education, has been providing a forum for international exchange on current developments in adult education since 1968. An issue was devoted to Participatory Research in 1988: 1988. “Participatory Research” Convergence Vol.XXI:2/3.
1970’s Aboriginal leadership and the new middle class: Throughout the 1970s aboriginal members of the new middle class initiated and directed PAR. (Jackson 1993:55)
1970’S Critiques of positivistic research paradigms emerged in the work of Habermas, Adorno and the Frankfurt School.
1974-? Edward Jackson worked for several years as field coordinator for Frontier College in the Atlantic Provinces of Canada.
1971 Paulo Freire visited Tanzania in 1971 and observed the Participatory Research work as self-defined by Marja Liisa Swantz.
1971 Paulo Freire visited Tanzania in 1971 and observed Swantz’ methodologies which he then introduced to international social scientists. (Hall 1994:3331).
1960’s? – 1970’s Marja Liisa Swantz. worked with students and women village workers in the Tanzanian coastal region using a method which she self-defined as Participatory Research. Paulo Freire visited Tanzania in 1971 and observed Swantz’ methodologies which he then introduced to international social scientists. (Hall 1994:3331). Budd Hall credits Swantz work with influencing his own. “Marja Liisa Swantz was a social scientist attached to the Bureau for Land Use and Productivity (BRALUP) of the University of Dar es Salaam. She and a group of students from the University of Dar es Salaam including Kemal Mustapha who was later to become the African coordinator for participatory research were working in an engaged way with women and others in the costal region of Tanzania. Through this practice she and the others began to articulate what she called “participant research”.” (Hall, Budd 1997)
1970-74 Budd Hall worked at the Institute of Adult Education of the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Hall described how he and many co-workers were transformed by the “…ideas, strategies and programmes of the Tanzanian government of the day articulated most effectively by President Julius Nyerere. Nyerere himself a former teacher had written much about the capacity of education to unchain people just as it had been used by the colonial powers to enchain a people. The philosophy of Ujamaa and Self-Reliance, concepts of what we would call today Afro-centric development and local economic development were open challenges to the way that the rich countries saw the world. Tanzania and Tanzanians were is so many ways telling the world that the ’emperor has no clothes’. Nyerere and a generation of articulate and gifted leaders such as Paul Mhaiki in adult education challenged all who were working in Tanzania, national and expatriate alike, to look through a different lens to understand education, agriculture, development, history, culture and eventually for some of us even research and evaluation methods. We were all encouraged to ‘meet the masses more’ and while on a day to day basis this was difficult to understand, over time many of us were profoundly transformed.” (Hall, Budd 1997)
1974 Fundacion para la Aplicacion de las Ciencias (FUNDAEC), a nongovernmental development agency in Colombia was founded by a group of professionals from a variety of disciplines, concerned about the negative impacts of the development processes set in motion after WWII, outlined in their frequent deliberations what eventually became a model for the integral development of rural areas, rooted in a meaningful participation of its inhabitants. The group was led by Farzam Arbab, a renowned physicist who had arrived as a visiting professor to the Universidad del Valle in 1970.” “The Rockefeller Foundation opened a field office in Cali, Colombia in 1960, ten years after the establishment of the Colombian Agricultural Program in Bogota. Farzam Arbab headed the program from 1974-1978. Farzam Arbab was a member of the NSA of Colombia from 1970 – 1980. Dr. Arbab holds a BA from Amherst College, Massachusetts (1964), a doctorate in elementary particle physics from the University of California, Berkeley (1968), and an honorary doctorate in science from Amherst College (1989). Farzam Arbab served as president of Fundacion para la Aplicacion de las Ciencias (FUNDAEC), a nongovernmental development agency in Colombia, from 1974 to 1988, and continues to serve on its board of directors. “Farzam Arbab’s doctorate in theoretical particle physics (1968) led him to Colombia to work with the University Development Program of the Rockefeller Foundation to strengthen the Department of Physics at the Universidad del Valle. While there he began to study the relationship between science, technology, and educational policy and their effects on development, which led him and a group of colleagues to form the Fundación para la Aplicación y Enseñanza de las Ciencias (Foundation for the Application and Teaching of Science).”
1974-75 Budd Hall was a visiting fellow at the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex from 1974 – 1975. While at Sussex he met international researchers like Francisco Vio Grossi from Chile and Rajesh Tandon from India, who shared his research interests. (Hall, Budd 1997)
1975 While at Sussex Budd Hall compiled a special issue of the journal Convergence on the theme of what he labelled ‘Participatory Research’. Hall chose the term ‘participatory research’ to encompass the collection of varied research approaches, including Swantz’ ‘Partipant Research’ and the European ‘Action Research’ which ‘shared a participatory ethos.’ (Hall, Budd 1997)
1976 First World Assembly of the International Council for Adult Education which took place in Dar es Salaam in 1976.
1970s “La critique la plus tranchée est intervenue dans les années ’70 et vient des universitaires engagés du Sud s’insurgeant contre l’aspect élitiste, importé, ethnocentrique du savoir occidental. D’autres épistémologies furent proposées, notamment par Orlando Fals-Borda (Colombien), Mohammed Anisur Rahman (Bangladeshi) et Budd Hall (Canadien travaillant en Tanzanie). (Se référer à Fals-Borda et Rahman Action and knowledge. Breaking the monopoly with P.A.R., Apex Press, N.Y. 1991). C’est Budd Hall qui lanca le vocable Participatory Action-Research (P.A.R.) ou RAP : “recherche-action-participative” au cours de son travail visant à associer les villageois ujamaa de Tanzanie à sa recherche-action.” Network Cultures
1977 the International Council of Adult Education supported the initiation of a global network in Participatory Research that brought together the work of a growing number of practitioners/scholars already engaged participatory research practices in different parts of the world. Budd Hall, Edward Jackson, dian marino and Deborah Barndt. This included Orlando Fals-Borda and colleagues in Colombia, Francisco Vio Grossi in Chile, Rahman in Bangladesh and Hall in Tanzania. (Hall, Budd 1997) (Fischer 1996)
1977 In the early stages of participatory action research many academics left their institutional posts to engage in more militant activism. Inspiration was garnered from humanist philosophies, from the writings of Ghandhi and in the contemporary version of Marxist thought. Orlando describes this stage as iconoclastic where no established institutions were trusted. (Orlando 1992:15)
1977 World Symposium on Action-Research and Scientific Analysis was held in Cartagena, Columbia. This event was organised by Orlando Fals-Borda and Columbian institutions along with other national and international bodies. The theories of Antonio Gramsci offered new insights into participation. (Orlando 1992:15) Hall asserts that Fals-Borda originated the term “Participatory Action Research.” Budd Hall recalled that this Symposium “totally and efficiently dismissed for once and for all the pretention of detached positivist science.” (Hall, Budd 1997)
1977 A follow-up meeting was held in Aurora, Ontario with Budd Hall, dian marino, Edward Jackson, Yusuf Kassam (Tanzania), Abdelwahid Yousif (Sudan), Per Stensland (USA), Helen Callaway (UK), Greg Conchelos, Paz Buttedahl, Francisco Vio Grossi, a colleague from India. The participants at that meeting produced a working definition of Participatory Research. 1. PR involves a whole range of powerless groups of people–exploited, the poor, the oppressed, the marginal. 2. It involves the full and active participation of the community in the entire research process. 3. The subject of the research originates in the community itself and the problem is defined, analyzed and solved by the community. 4. The ultimate goal is the radical transformation of social reality and the improvement of the lives of the people themselves. The beneficiaries of the research are the members of the community. 5. the process of participatory research can create a greater awareness in the people of their own resources and mobilize them for self-reliant development. 6.It is a more scientific method or research in that the participation of the community in the research process facilitates a more accurate and authentic analysis of social reality. 7. The researcher is a committed participant and learner in the process of research, i.e. a militant rather than a detached observer.(Hall, 1978:5) (Hall, Budd 1997)
1978 There were five nodes in the Participatory Action network: Toronto; New Delhi-Rajesh Tandon, coordinator; Dar es Salaam, Tanzania – Yusuf Kassam, coordinator; Netherlands – Jan de Vries, coordinator; Caracas, Venezuela – Francisco Vio Grossi, Coordinator.(Hall, Budd 1997)
1979 There were meetings in New Delhi organized by Rajesh Tandon, at Highlander Research and Education Centre hosted by John Gaventa.(Hall, Budd 1997)
1981 “Breaking Ground: The Role of Popular Education and Research in Social Movements” was organised by Deborah Barndt. This conference looked at case studies from Nicaragua(Francisco Lacayo), Quebec (Paul Belanger) and Highlander Centre in the USA (Myles Horton and John Gaventa). This conference not only spoke of popular education and participatory research but was organized along the principles themselves.(Hall, Budd 1997)
VOICES OF CHANGE: Aboriginal-centred and Inuit-centred participatory action research projects:
PHASE I Aboriginal PAR: Land Use and Occupation
- c.1965 Community self-surveys (CENTRAD 1973; Ponting and Gibbons 1980 cited in Jackson 1993:49.)
- 1968 – discovery of oil and gas, Prudhoe Bay, Alaska
- 1968 – Inter-departmental Task Force on Northern Oil development
- C.1970’s Land Use and Occupancy Studies (Jackson 1993:50)
- 1970 – Imperial Oil discovery of oil and gas in the Mackenzie Delta
- 1970 – General guidelines for the construction and operation of oil and gas pipelines in the Mackenzie Valley and Northern Yukon
- 1971 – Environmental Social Program
- 1972 – Expanded Guidelines for Northern Pipelines
- 1974 – Canadian Arctic Gas Application
- 1974 – Government creates the Pipeline Application Assessment Group
- 1974 – Environmental Protection Board
- 1974 – Independent Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry
- 1974 British Columbia Nazko-Kluskus Land Use (cited in Jackson 1993:50)
- 1974 – 1977: Mr. Justice Thomas Berger’s enquiry was established on March 21, 1974. “Northern Frontier – Northern Homeland: The Report of the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline
- 1976 The Alcan Project proposed to carry natural gas by pipeline from Prudhoe Bay to the continental United States. It was put forward by a consortium of companies but it would have been Foothills Pipelines (Yukon) that would be building the Yukon portion of the pipeline. http://www.economicdevelopment.yk.ca/industry/OilAndGas/businessdevelopment/Lysyk%20Inquiry.htm
- 1977 Dene land use and occupancy study led to claims made by Dene Nation. Nahanni Butte is one of the Deh Cho’ communities. Nahanni Dene speak Slavey. (Nahanni 1977 cited in Jackson 1993:50)
- 1978 Mackenzie Valley proposed pipeline was prevented due to the inquiry into Dene Land Use (Jackson 1978)
- 1977 Eastern Arctic Inuit land use led to claims made by Inuit Tapirisat (Brice-Bennett 1977 cited in Jackson 1993:51)
- 1977 Northern Ontario Nishnawbe-Aski Land Use (Sieciechowicz 1977 cited in Jackson 1993:50)
- Freeman, M. 1976. Inuit Land Use and Occupancy Project, Vol. 3: Land Use Atlas. Ottawa: Dept. of Indian and Northern Affairs.
- 1970s Other Land Use and Occupation Studies led to Committee for Original People’s Entitlement (The Inuit of the Western Arctic) (Jackson 1993:51) PHASE II Aboriginal PAR: Water, Sanitation, Health, Housing, Social Services
Late 1970’s Aboriginal-initiated, community-directed research on water, sanitation, health, housing, social services. (Jackson 1993:50) These studies used qualitative methodologies. (Jackson 1993:53)
1977 Trout Lake Band Council This PAR Cree-centred project (1977 – early 1980s) used local research committees, community seminars, study trips and local training along with reports in Cree syllabics. The research was designed to select a water and sewage system for the community. The choice was between a costly sewer line to service a small minority of non-Aboriginal houses (termed ‘technical apartheid’) vs a trucked water and waste system that would serve all the community. The more democratic second system was chosen. The project received international attention. (Jackson 1993:52)
PHASE III Aboriginal PAR: Alternative Economic Strategies
- late 1970’s Aboriginal communities use PAR to identify alternative economic strategies (Jackson 1993:50)
- 1977 Nahanni described the outside professional, non-Aboriginal researcher as a spy who writes in codes and does not share research findings. Dene, on the other hand were described as belonging to a brotherhood. (Jackson 1993:51) This professional researcher-researched dichotomy existed in the 1970s where disempowered groups were negotiating land claims with governments and institutions linked directly or indirectly to the outside, professional, non-Aboriginal researcher.
- early 1980’s Aboriginal communities begin to use PAR to develop alternative economic strategies (Jackson 1993:50) 1981 Council for Yukon Indians (CYI) recommended a comprehensive training plan for Yukon Indian People. (Council for Yukon Indians 1981a cited in Jackson 1993:54)
- 1982 Kayahna Tribal area used PAR methods in economic development planning and implementation.
- 1982 Canadian Journal of Native Studies published a special issue on the role of outsiders from outside the Aboriginal community in contributing “knowledge of the functioning of institutions of the larger society as they impinge on native concerns while community members provide expertise in defining the issues and in culturally and behaviourally appropriate ways of addressing them. Together both groups search for methods of linking resources to communities to solve development issues.” (Jackson et al. 1982:5 cited in Jackson 1993:62)
- 1984 Pauktuutit was incorporated in 1984 as the national association that represents all Inuit women in Canada. Issues researched include family violence, justice, youth, health, social issues, FAS,
- 1985 Faculty and students of the Department of Native Studies at Trent University produced a set of guidelines for doing participatory oral history research in Aboriginal communities. (Conchelos 1985 cited in Jackson 1993:62)
- 1985 Old Crow community in northern Yukon produced a socioeconomic plan for sustainable resources use with PAR methods. (Jackson 1993:62)
- Native Canadians refer to themselves as Aboriginal peoples, First Nations or First Peoples. Aboriginal peoples and Aboriginal movement are central to the current political, economic and social activism of Native Canadians. (Jackson 1993:64)
PHASE IV Aboriginal and Inuit PAR: Alternative Cultural Strategies
1. Language education, protection and survival
- 1996 Oral Traditions Course offered at Nunavut Arctic College Interviewing Inuit Elders: Introduction The Oral History Project grew out of the Oral Traditions course held at the Iqaluit campus of Nunavut Arctic College in 1996. The College invited Inuit elders to be interviewed, in Inuktitut, by the eight students taking the course that year.(Iqaluit, 1999).
- 1998 course offered at Nunavut Arctic College, Iqaluit, NU in the Inuit Studies Program supervised by Susan Sammons and Alexina Kublu.
3. Negotiating interfaces with provincial, federal and corporate bodies that deal in cultural industries
4. Integration of IQ and IK in all areas involving Aboriginal and Indigenous culture
(complete bibliography here)
Arbab, Farzam. 1997. “Rural University: Learning about Education and Development.” International Development Research Centre, Ottawa, Canada.
Freeman, M. 1976. Inuit Land Use and Occupancy Project, Vol. 3: Land Use Atlas. Ottawa: Dept. of Indian and Northern Affairs.
Bibliography from Jackson:
Jackson, Ted. “A Way of Working: Participatory Research and the Aboriginal Movement in Canada.” in Park, Peter et al. 1993. Voices of Change: Participatory Research in the United States and Canada.London: Bergin and Garvey.
Apple, Michael W. 1982. Education and Power. Boston: Routledge and Kegan Paul. Bell, Daniel. 1974. The Coming of Post-Industrial Society. London: Heinemann.
Berger, T. R. 1980. Report of the Commission on Indian and Inuit Health Consultation. Ottawa: Health and Welfare Canada.
Berger, T. R. 1985. Village Journey: The Report of the Alaska Native Review Commission. New York: Hill and Wang.
Bobiwash, L. And L. Malloch. 1980. A Family Needs Survey of the Native Community in Toronto. Toronto: Native Canadian Centre.
Bottomore, Tom. 1984. The Frankfurt School. London: Tavistock Publications.
Brice-Bennet, C. Ed. 1977. Our Footprints Are Everywhere: Inuit Land Use and Occupation in Labrador. Ottawa: Queen’s Printer.
Bronfenbrenner, Urie. 1972. “Lewinian Space and Ecological Space.” Journal of Social Issues. 33 (4).
Castellano, Marlene Brant. 1983. “Canadian Case Study: The Role of Adult Education Promoting Community Involvement in Primary Health Care.” Unpublished manuscript. Trent University.
Castellano, Marlene Brant. 1986. “Collective Wisdom: Participatory Research and Canada’s Native People.” Convergence. 19 (3):50-53.
CENTRAD (Centre for Training, Research and Development). 1973. Small Business Management: Instructors’ Manual. Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.
Colorado, Pamela. 1988. “Bridging Native and Western Science.” Convergence. 21 (2-3): 49 – 68.
Conchelos, Greg. 1985. Participatory Oral History Research in Native Communities: Some Problems and Emerging Guidelines for Doing It. Prepared for the Conference on Participatory Research for Community Action, University of Massachussets at Amherst.
Conchelos, Greg. 1988. “Knowledge Systems, Environmental Impact Assessment and Participatory Research.” Draft manuscript, Carleton University? Peterborough.
Conchelos, Greg abd Ted Jackson. 1980. “Participatory Research for Community Education: Comparing Urban and Rural Experiences.” Presented to the Canadian Community Education Conference, Brandon, Manitoba.
Lather, Patti. 1986. “Research as Praxis.” Harvard Educational Review. 56 (3): 257-277. August.
1993 Farzam Arbab elected as member of international House. . .
© Maureen Flynn-Burhoe 2002. Uploaded to aflicktion March 2009.
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