Knoxville, Tennessee | USA

June 16-18, 2016
University of Tennessee



Making a Difference: Action Research for a Change

Our conference theme, MAKING A DIFFERENCE: ACTION RESEARCH FOR A CHANGE, drew inspiration from the history of Highlander Education and Research Center, and the legacy of change that it has spawned. The epigraph from Myles Horton above refers to his founding of the Highlander Folk School, but also speaks to unique contexts and a focus on interaction that are broadly understood elements of the of diverse field of action research.

As with Action Research, this was not a typical conference. This was a platform for Inter-Action. Dialogue was our primary form of interaction with skilled facilitators that encouraged participants to join the action and to think together collaboratively.

2016 Proceedings

When performing the preliminary work for the 2016 conference, the organizers chose an apt theme to guide the program: “Making a Difference: Action Research for a Change”. As such, they were determined to make certain it would not be “your typical conference”, but rather one driven by interaction and dialogue. Certainly the Knoxville site represented the crossroads of the Americas for just such discussion and drew presenters from across the two continents (and further afield). The published work, found below, also represents a crossroads of the many themes and research that were disseminated during this week in June, 2016. The speakers emerge from a great diversity of contexts and setting at the school, university, college, and workplace. Some stretch the boundaries of the Action Research methodology while others use it to enact change in their community. Alongside the papers shown below are a number of other formats that presenters chose to employ. One of the more novel venues was that of the PechaKucha Panel which proved to be a more fast-paced genre for the conference. Regardless of the format, we hope you find the enclosed proceedings both enlightening and thought-provoking as we collectively continue coming to grips with the many facets of Action Research.


Session discussions lead by Pam McMichael (Executive Director, Highlander Research and Education Centre), Mary Brydon Miller (Professor, University of Cincinnati), Cathy Bruce (Dean of Education, Professor at Trent University), Doris Santos (Associate Professor at Universidad Nacional de Colombia), Esmeralda Balthazar (Highlander Research and Education Centre)

CARN Study Day | June 16

This year ARNA is proud to announce that the CARN Study Day will be held at the Highlander Research and Education Center (Formerly Highlander Folk School) in New Market, TN. Highlander serves as a catalyst for grassroots organizing and movement building in Appalachia and the South as well as nationally and internationally.  Highlander works with people fighting for justice, equality, and sustainability, supporting their efforts to take collective action to share their own destiny.  Highlander holds a strong commitment to Participatory Research, aligned with ARNA and CARN goals.

carnstudyday_knoxville_image1The study day will offer a time of education and dialogue at Highlander Research and Education Center.  This day of collaboration will be held on Thursday, June 16th from 9:30am to 3:30pm and will appeal to all branches of the conference.  The day’s schedule will include a review of Highlander’s history, facilitated dialogue, a walking tour of Highlander, group presentation of historical roots, and lunch on site. Transportation to and from the conference hotel will be provided.

Participation is limited to 40 participants on a first come, first served basis.  Please see the Register tab to add this incredible experience to your 2016 ARNA conference schedule.carnstudyday_knoxville_image2

You can find a timeline for work completed at Highlander here.  Most recently Highlander has facilitated efforts regarding; the prison industrial complex, gay marriage, inter-generational work, economic development, the immigrant community, and race and globalization.


Copyright © 2022 ARNA