2023 ARNA Proceedings

Candace Kaye, Editor and the ARNA Proceedings Editorial Board

With support of Ana Espinosa, Administrative Assistant; Gabriel Zacarias Ramirez and Rich McPherson, ARNA Technology Consultants; and gratitude to Joe Shosh.


The ARNA Proceedings Editor and the support team are delighted to begin sharing the 2023 ARNA Proceedings! We are a work in progress, but wanted to provide this to you as soon as we could. Please stay tuned.

Since 2014, ARNA has curated our annual conference proceedings each year to emphasize our commitment to sharing knowledge from the annual meeting. The Proceedings each year are unable to capture all the rich and nuanced conversations that take place during the diverse sessions of our conference days together, but they continue to be inspired to chronicle and celebrate the vast research being conducted by our members. Adding to ARNA’s continued growth, the Proceedings editorial board has continued the refined format of the published Proceedings begun with the 2021 Proceedings as follows:

  • An Introduction
  • A Link to the current ARNA Annual Report that offers the participatory history of the most current conference – when it is published.
  • Links to ARNA 2023 Accepted Abstracts listed alphabetically by title and presenters plus, in time, full papers of presentations that have been submitted and reviewed by our editorial board.

The Action Research Network of the Americas Proceedings team continues to be so very appreciative of all our members and applauds each of them for the ongoing positive impact of their research efforts.

Well done!



Actas de 2023: un renacimiento de ARNA

presentado por Candace Kaye

Editora de las Actas de la Conferencia ARNA 2023




ARNA 2023 Virtual Conference Session Abstracts (English Language)

Julián Andrés Agredo Cuaspud, Master in Popular Education, University of Cauca, Colombia;

PhD Student Training in Diversity, University of Manizales, Colombia; Pitalito Superior Normal School, Sidewalk under Solarte/Pitalito/Huila/Colombia (jaagredo@unicauca.edu.co, julac21@hotmail.com)

Teachers and Master Craftsmen of Knowledge Generating Praxis

(Translated from original Spanish language submission)
Document Presentation Sessions PAR Round Table

This presentation is part of a search and reflection exercise about the concept of the teacher, in relation to research in the educational field and curricular construction processes in educational institutions. From these reflections, it can be understood how the investigative aspect leads to the configuration of teachers as subjects involved in constant training processes. The training occurs to the extent that they become actors and craftsmen (Larrosa, Tezanos) in the construction of knowledge and knowledge through their praxis (Gramsci) within the communities where he acts and builds experiences. The main purpose of the investigative process is the construction of a curriculum from research (Stenhouse), based on principles of popular education (Freire) and in a participatory manner with the community (Fals Borda), in the context of a Superior Normal School. So far, some spaces for dialogue have been advanced that have allowed teachers to express their concepts of what research is in the educational field. Through group dialogue exercises, using the workshop strategy, it is possible to show that teachers are clear about what research is and its importance in the educational and pedagogical field. In fact, in their various training processes or in undergraduate or postgraduate courses, they have studied advanced research processes that allow them to have clear conceptions of the methodological, for example. They have investigated at certain times, basically with the intention of qualifying their teaching work. However investigations are not maintained over time and it is more for the interest of the teacher than for conditions provided by the institution. Until now it is also evident that the teachers give importance to the characteristics introduced from their students and their contexts, i.e. trying to develop relevant educational practices and attending to the needs and problems they face in their educational communities. This process is done constantly, demonstrating a system in their work and indicating an interest and concern to investigate what happens with their students and how to attend or contribute to problem situations that arise. Taking this into account, teachers are researchers. Given this, it would be necessary to review what researchers and research we could be talking about. It would be necessary to assume other emerging pedagogical and epistemological positions, in rethinking the teaching work in a school and to begin to investigate how these educational practices are becoming praxis, providing knowledge in the pedagogical and educational field. This means building pedagogical knowledge and constituting a possible method that is used as a strategy that contributes to renewing praxis.


Blanca Luisa Astorga Lineros, PhD in Education from the Academy of Christian Humanism University, Professor of Differential Education at the Cardenal Raúl Silva Henríquez Catholic University, Researcher at the Center for Research in Education for Social Justice CIEJUS / Tenured Academic at the Academy of Christian Humanism University. San Miguel / Santiago/ Metropolitan Region/ Chile (linerosastorgab@gmail.com)

Transcendence as an Engine of Transformations in Dialogic Community Classrooms

(Translated from original Spanish language submission)

Roundtable PAR Paper Presentation Sessions

The research presented is based on educational experiences in public schools in Chile located in different geographical areas (North - Center - South). Their overarching characteristic is that they are made up of community classrooms that work from the perspective of Enlazando Mundos’ dialogic pedagogy. They recognize a collective impulse to the transformation of the local reality, which translates into 1. jointly agreed actions that allow them to face the difficulties in the development of school learning and 2. territorializes the educational policy guidelines, in order to improve the life of the community, as well as preserving their culture, accounting for the motivations that mobilize their praxis (García Parra, 2004). The objective of this study is to characterize the motivations, distinguishing those called "transcendental" and, estimate the main tasks, as well as responsibilities of the groups when they decide collaboratively to assume the leading role in decision-making, especially in those sectors of the national population where the ministerial and institutional guidelines fail to guarantee social justice in education. The methodological approach assumed by this research is framed within the participatory paradigm (Heron and Reason, 1997; Denzin and Lincoln, 2012) and the methodology is governed by what is proposed in dialogic research-Kishu Kimkelay Ta Che (Ferrada 2017; Ferrada et al. , 2014; Del Pino and Ferrada 2019). From it, the formation of research communities is promoted with those who participate in each classroom. The construction of knowledge has a collective character and for this purpose the following were developed: a) dialogical conversation, b) collective dialogue and c) Az Kintum. In this way it is possible to activate among: teachers, students, families, members of the local civil society and others situated reflective processes that encourage them to look at their being and being in the community from a purposeful perspective. In a first phase of the analytical process, the existence of three types of motivation was identified: extrinsic, intrinsic and transcendental. In a second phase, when investigating, particularly, the dynamics that generated transformation processes, transcendent motivations are identified and it is recognized that they arise in the groups as part of various interests that give the permanent and growing character of co-construction of knowledge which is marked by cultural and territorial recognition in each dialogic classroom. The experiences investigated, despite their evident geographical distance and particular cultural experiences 1. formed agreements in advancing: transformation processes within the formal school system, basing their actions on ethical, universal and constant principles; 2. gathering intelligence and will (López-Jurado y Gratacós Casacuberta, 2013) and 3. for "self-understanding" as the agents capable of generating changes that they as students, teachers and families, expect. This feature finds correspondence with the approaches of Jiménez Naranjo and Kreisel (2018) and Ramírez (2017), which, from the perspective of Pérez - López (1991) and García - Parra (2004) correlating with transcendental interests of the communities, the expression of noble feelings towards their community and the self-satisfaction of collective needs.​​​​


Lora Cawelti, MA, Graduate Researcher, University of California, Irvine, USA (lcawelti@uci.edu)​

Maggie Dahn, PhD, Research Scientist, University of California, Irvine, USA (dahnm@uci.edu)

Scott Sikkema, Education Director, Chicago Arts Partnership in Education, Chicago, Illinois, USA (Scott@capechicago.org)

Olateju Adesida, PhD, Associate Director of Education, Chicago Arts Partnership in Education, Chicago, Illinois, USA (teju@capechicago.org) ​​

Enacting an Artist/Researcher Model in Research Practice Partnership

PAR Panel Sessions​

A research practice partnership (RPP) is a long-term research alliance between researchers and practitioners working on participatory action research. In RPPs, stakeholders work together to determine a problem of practice, and take action toward improvement through bridging cultural divides, building trust, and maintaining mutualism in the partnership (Coburn et al., 2013). These partnerships help to democratize research, facilitating spaces where practitioners become decision makers who work with researchers on the production and use of research (Tseng et al., 2018). Chicago Arts Partnership in Education (CAPE) espouses an Artist/Researcher model enacted in RPP in education. The Artist/Researcher is poised to use a transdisciplinary approach (Doucet, 2019), leveraging the affordances of both practicing and teaching in the arts, e.g., storytelling, songwriting, movement, artmaking. Within the context of a research practice partnership, we conceptualize the Artist/Researcher taking on five roles: 1) reflective questioner; 2) critical collaborator; 3) role-shifter; 4) integrative innovator; and 5) social engager (Sikkema, 2016). In a multi-year partnership, [blinded] University and [blinded organization name] have worked together to toward an Artist/Researcher model in research partnership. In particular, we are interested in issues of around learning and making in arts classrooms, both during the school day, and after school. In this panel session, we explore the ways in which the Artist/Researcher model is enacted by both researchers and practitioners in our partnership. The panel is composed of university researchers, arts administrators, and teaching artists who will discuss the Artist/Researcher model in relation to recent inquiry around openness, space and place in the arts classroom, and educator and researcher positionality. We share practical examples of the Artist/Researcher model in action at different stages in the research cycle from identifying problems and contexts, to gathering and interpreting data, to authorship and dissemination. This panel discussion will appeal to conference goers working on community research partnerships as well as those interested in inclusive, arts-based research methods.


Karina Alejandra Cruz Pallares, PhD, Professor-Researcher, Institución Benemérita y Centenaria Normal School of the State of Chihuahua, Mexico (cruzaleka@gmail.com)

Luis Urías Belderráin, Florio River and Sacramento River, Junta de los Ríos, Chihuahua, Mexico

Jose Gilberto Marquez Murillo, Research Professor of the Meritorious and Centennial Institution Normal School of the State of Chihuahua, Mexico (jg.marquez@ibycenech.edu.mx)

Professor Luis Urías Belderráin.

Reconstructing Interpersonal Relationships Through Post-Pandemic School Coexistence (Translated from original Spanish language submission)

In a post-pandemic society, the importance of interpersonal relationships acquires a new connotation; it is necessary to reconstruct the dialectical relationship that exists between the self and the other (Freire, 1994). The distance imposed by the threat of a deadly virus disrupts all social spheres, including the educational space that becomes virtual, where routines and forms of interaction are modified. This is an integral part of a work in progress that is approached from the qualitative paradigm, through the research-action methodology, the object of study is the initial teacher training in the context of the pandemic generated by COVID-19. Among the results found in an initial diagnosis, the need for social care stands out, for the identification of groups to rebuild interpersonal social relationships modified by the health emergency situation. Learning with the other and from the other is now more than ever a priority to redress the identity, humanitarian and social bond; repair the emotional, social and group damage resulting from isolation, through social learning (Bandura, 2015) that favors the construction of a new inclusive, empathetic, committed and proactive reality. These same results show a high rate of manifestations of anxiety and depression in young people who are training to be teachers who have recently joined a teacher training institution, as a result of the adjustments experienced with urgency and without adequate emotional scaffolding, in the most cases, that would allow them to meet all of their social, family and educational needs. These phenomena arise due to the resistance to the isolation processes, first, followed by the concern to reincorporate into social groups where the understanding of others, their needs and characteristics is one of the factors with the greatest deterioration in this stage and its necessary reconstruction. The study aims to carry out actions that favor the strengthening of self-confidence and the development of empathy for said reconstruction. The actions are carried out by various educational actors, including group teachers and university tutors. Among the preliminary conclusions, the resilience that allows the deployment of various personal strategies to face adversity stands out; It is a personal road, under construction and rough in most cases.


Karina Alejandra Cruz Pallares, PhD, Professor-Researcher, Institución Benemérita y Centenaria Normal School of the State of Chihuahua, Mexico (cruzaleka@gmail.com)

Karla Rocío Jiménez Luna, PhD, Institución Benemérita y Centenaria Escuela Normal del Estado de Chihuahua, Mexico (r.jimenez@ibycenech.edu.mx)

Karla Ivette Nieto Chávez,  Institución Benemérita y Centenaria Escuela Normal del Estado de Chihuahua, Mexico (k.nieto@ibycenech.edu.mx)​

The Use of ICT in the Teaching of English

(Translated from original Spanish language submission)

PAR Panel Sessions

English is the most used language in the world as a second language, which is why it is considered universal. Therefore, the educational system must include it as part of the courses offered in the institutions. It is necessary that this action, in turn, goes together with the development of 21st century skills such as the use of available technologies and digital literacy (UNESCO, 2021). Therefore, the Information, Communication, Knowledge and Digital Learning Technologies -TICCAD- became necessary for the teaching of English classes in an initial teacher training school, one of the so-called normal schools. The participatory action research used in the investigation is understood as "a fundamentally different way of jointly carrying out research and action for social change. Participation not only has a moral value, but is an essential part of the success of the process, since the complexity of The problems addressed require the knowledge and experience of a broad spectrum of actors" (Greenwood, 2016, p. 97). The main problem was to investigate the conditions in which how the teaching and learning of English mediated by technology arises, where daily practices are aimed at a better command of the language and digital environments. The results obtained in the diagnostic phase on their learning through various digital tools are reported. The preliminary results show that all the participants consider that the tools benefit their learning process. In addition, they consider that the study of English favors both the generic and the professional competences that are established in the graduation profile. Therefore, they would like to continue using technological tools in the subject. Although they have used platforms such as Classroom or Moodle, they would like to incorporate the use of social networks and presentation or video editors such as Prezi, and interactive tools such as games or Metimeter. Additionally, it is revealed in the study that almost half of the research participants learned to use the tools thanks to the guidance of teachers, almost a third did it self-taught and the rest was based on the help of other people. After the analysis of the instrument, it is concluded that there is a favorable trend towards the acceptance of the use of technology in learning English because students perceive benefits in their language learning, in addition to positively impacting other professional areas.


Sarah Dodoo, Department of Human Development and Family Studies, College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (dodoo2@illinois.edu)

Ha Young Choi, Department of Human Development and Family Studies, College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign

Strengthening Participatory Action Research through the Pluralism of Methods: Utilizing Surveys and Group Level Assessment (GLA) to Assess Mental Health Agency Leadership Experiences

Throughout the process of a participatory research (PR) project, community partners' perspectives, priorities, and expertise take center stage. The present PR project promoted a community-academic partnership involving the co-creation of research questions and study design, capacity-building for data collection, and shared dissemination efforts with a community partner. The primary objectives of this project were to uncover the various leadership challenges faced by mental health agency leaders and identify areas where they can improve their leadership skills. The project's aims were prioritized by the interests and concerns of our community partner, a county-level mental health board, which supports multiple mental health agency leaders. To provide a framework for understanding leadership experiences better, an integrated conceptual model with theoretical underpinnings was designed to incorporate the interplay between leadership values and leadership contexts. Using Group Level Assessment (GLA), the project assessed mental health agencies’ organizational culture and challenges (such as crisis management, staff recruitment and retention, communication strategies, and organizational threats), support needs, and leadership development (such as desired leadership skills and future action plans). An online survey method was used pre-GLA to gather data on leaders’ perceptions of effective leaders’ characteristics and the barriers to effective leadership. The results of the survey influenced the design of the GLA session. Additionally, a post-GLA survey was deployed to assess agency leaders’ motivation for participating in the GLA, the effectiveness of the session, interest in the study’s dissemination efforts, participation in future similar sessions, and suggestions for improvement. The project's use of diverse data collection methods, specifically surveys and GLA, allowed for a more nuanced understanding of mental health agency leaders’ experiences. The project yielded important insights into how to establish and maintain productive partnerships, incorporate theoretical and conceptual frameworks, and make data collection relevant to community partners experiencing overwhelming pandemic-related demands like community mental health service organizations. A recommendation report was co-developed with volunteer agency leaders to disseminate findings and given to the mental health board and agency representatives. The findings of the project will be presented at this conference through descriptive statistics and themes generated through the surveys and GLA methods. The project serves as a useful case study for future participatory research projects, highlighting best practices and lessons learned for promoting community-academic partnerships and the pluralism of methods.


Chelsea Gilbert, PhD Candidate, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA (chelseaelizabethgilbert@gmail.com)

Participatory Post-Qualitative Inquiry: Connections Toward Embodied Relational Research

Round Table PAR Paper Presentation Sessions, PAR Panel Sessions

In this conceptual paper, I make an argument for participatory research as congruent with post-qualitative research and emphasize the extensions that participatory research might offer for post-qualitative inquirers with commitments to justice. Specifically, I discuss the concept of embodied relationality as embedded within both post-qualitative and participatory inquiry.

Rather than a distinct methodological approach, post-qualitative inquiry can be conceptualized as “an agentic assemblage” (Nordstrom & Ulmer, 2017, p. 2) characterized by uncertainty and emergence. In this way, post-qualitative inquiry “never exists, it never is. It must be invented, created differently each time” (St. Pierre, 2021, p. 6). Post-qualitative inquiry thus requires a radical rethinking of conventional methodological assumptions (St. Pierre, 2011, 2013a, 2013b, 2013c, 2017a) and is often “unsettling, disruptive, [and] confusing” (St. Pierre, 2021, p. 7). The unsettling nature of post-qualitative inquiry is not without tension and complexity, however, especially when it comes to justice-focused scholarship (Aagaard, 2021; Carlson et al., 2021). For example, some scholars have questioned whether decentering “the subject” may result in apolitical forms of post-qualitative inquiry (Mayes, 2019) or the perpetuation of colonizing ideologies (Bhattacharya, 2019, 2021; Gerrard et al., 2017). I argue that post-qualitative inquiry has the possibility of “result[ing] in… increased justice and equity in multiple directions, bodies, and forms” (Koro et al., 2022, p. 572), but only if practiced with care and attentiveness to embodied relational ethics and to the materiality of the results of the inquiry (Kuntz, 2018, 2022) while constantly “interrogating the discourses that promote [post-qualitative] moves and turns, and the power relations and privileges of those who make such moves and turns” (Bhattacharya, 2019, p. 112). Justice-oriented post-qualitative research thus must “balance a desire for academics and theory… with the responsibility for praxis, decision-making, and action” (Koro et al., 2022, p. 565); it seeks “a pragmatic justice in-the-now, a justice that is always insufficient and incomplete, but one [post-qualitative researchers] nevertheless doggedly pursue” (Wolgemuth et al., 2021, p. 15). Participatory research traditions offer one promising means of operationalizing justice-oriented post-qualitative research, grounding them in practical, material changes in the lives of those involved in the research. Though distinct, participatory research shares much with post-qualitative traditions; for example, it requires “the unlearning of worn, taken-for-granted norms and habits of conventional social science” (Gaya & Brydon-Miller, 2017, p. 38). Further, participatory designs are inherently rhizomatic, intentionally leaving open “the possibility that questions and purposes may change as new knowledge and situations emerge” (Stringer & Aragon, 2021, p. 37) and leveraging “experimentation and creation” (St. Pierre, 2019, p. 11) in the midst of “generative indeterminancies” (Miller, 2017, p. 488) throughout the inquiry process. Additionally, because change efforts are necessarily partial, incomplete, processual, and relational (Torre & Ayala, 2009), participatory praxis might be articulated similarly to Lather’s (2010) assertion of hesitance in inquiry after the ontological turn: “we are not so sure of ourselves… [yet] we see this not knowing as our best chance for a different sort of doing” (p. 15). These – and other – overlaps will be explored in this conceptual paper. ​


Brighid Golden, PhD, Mary Immaculate College, Limerick, Ireland (brighid.golden@mic.ul.ie)

Exploring The Boundaries of Participatory Action Research within Initial Teacher Education

Round Table PAR Paper Presentation Sessions, PAR Panel Sessions

This paper explores a three-cycle action research project undertaken within initial teacher education (ITE) in Ireland. While the research explored in this study did not follow the traditional tenets of participatory action research (PAR), it pushed the boundaries of what it can mean to engage in participatory research in responsive and responsible ways. The purpose of this paper is to propose an alternative conceptualisation of PAR by presenting a research project in which the context was deeply collaborative and participatory. PAR traditionally involves the inclusion of participants in all phases of the research process (Vollman et al., 2004). Baum et al. (2006) acknowledge that the extent to which this participation is possible is heavily dependent on practical considerations and the willingness of participants to be involved. The practical and ethical considerations of the research setting informed my decisions in relation to participation levels appropriate for this study. As a result of challenges in relation to high student numbers and time constraints, this research did not have a participatory element in the way PAR traditionally does. My students, as research participants, were not co-researchers involved in the design and analysis stages. However, in other ways the research project was highly participatory. The research project took place within the context of the Global Education, which is characterised by active and participatory teaching which was reflected in my own approaches. Consequently, I knew the students who contributed to this research well and their participation in data collection was highly participatory both during and outside of class time and reflected the relationship we had established and the interactive way in which we communicated during classes. While students did not contribute directly to design or analysis, they offered their own reflections and considered ideas through the data collection which contributed to the generation of knowledge. Choosing a research methodology which was not participatory in the traditional sense afforded students the opportunity to be involved and have their voices heard while not placing additional time or workload pressures on them. The result of this research project was a conceptual framework which offers a novel approach to global education within ITE. The framework consists of two elements, a model based on a comprehensive literature review which identifies where the fields of critical thinking and GE intersect, and a planning tool which offers a structured approach to teaching critical global learning. While this framework was developed throughout all cycles of the study, participants in the final cycle had the opportunity to offer feedback on its elements and contribute to shaping the final outcome.

While traditional PAR was not possible, it was still important to explore avenues for participatory and engaged involvement of participants to honour the values and practices underpinning GE as the context for the study. While I generated theory through extensive literature reviews and analysis of data, that theory was shared with participants and tested alongside them.


Maximiliano Heeren Herrera, EdD, University of Los Lagos, Department of Education,

Castro, Chiloé Province, Los Lagos Region, Chile (maximiliano.heeren@ulagos)

Educational Evaluation from Social Justice, The Case of a Rural School in the Mapuche-Williche Indigenous Context of the Chiloe Archipelago

(Translated from original Spanish language submission)

PAR Panel Session

The objective of the presentation is to share what knowledge the teachers of a rural school of the Chiloé Archipelago in Chile, located in a Mapuche Williche indigenous context, have, regarding educational evaluation and how this knowledge converges with the equity dimension, from the perspective of social justice, considering territorial, social, cultural, linguistic, cognitive particularities -among others. Namely, the equity dimension is the one that is traditionally developed in the national evaluation policy, for this reason it is important to investigate it together with communities in the Mapuche context. This research is part of a project financed by the National Research Agency (FONDECYT REGULAR Nº 1220783). Methodologically, these results respond to the dialogical approach-kishu kimkelay ta che (Ferrada et al., 2014; Ferrada and Del Pino, 2018), which configures the horizontal research work in relation to the formation of a research community, with whom it is related and co-constructs and collectively interprets knowledge, highlighting its contextual singularities. This was carried out through collective dialogues held during the year 2022 and which are still ongoing, with all the educational agents (indigenous and non-indigenous) of the establishment, to then distinguish and collaboratively validate indigenous and non-indigenous educational knowledge. in evaluative practices, regarding equity from a social justice perspective proposed by Rawls (2019, 2018). Following this analysis, the knowledge coding and categorization procedure was carried out, using the NVIVO software, which evidenced transformative knowledge, that is, evaluative practices in line with a social justice approach from a transformative perspective, relieving evaluation as a self-evaluative instance, which promotes the development of a critical capacity in its students, through processes in which they can evaluate their own performance and that of their peers, in addition, a notion of evaluation was evidenced as an instance that allows improvement the disposition of the students in front of the learning process. Along with this, conservative knowledge was evidenced, which accounts for evaluation practices that, according to the community, do not promote any type of injustice, among them, the teachers account for notions of symbolic, formative evaluation, diagnostic and as an instance of accreditation and promotion. Finally, the research community revealed excluding knowledge, distinguishing notions of evaluation as a way of accounting for learning, as a repairer of learning, as equal opportunities, as accountability and evidence, as a predictive instance, as a practice of rote learning, decontextualized, labeling and differentiating. In this regard, it is especially relevant in the Williche context that the evaluation be decontextualized, labeling and differentiating.​​​​


Pateka Jama, PhD, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa (Pateka.Jama@nwu.ac.za)

Annah Nkomo, PhD, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa (nkomo.anna@gmail.com)

Lesley Wood, DEd, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa   (Lesley.Wood@nwu.ac.za)

The Power and Caveats of Body Mapping as a Visual Methodology with Vulnerable Youth

Round Table PAR Paper Presentation Sessions

One of the biggest socio-economic challenges facing South Africa is the high number of youth not in education, employment, or further training, commonly referred to as NEET. Being NEET affects a person holistically, resulting in physical, emotional, and psychological insecurities. Before helping youth find ways to better cope with and flourish in spite of the consequences of being NEET, it was necessary first to explore in depth their experiences as young people living in impoverished settings. We chose body mapping for this purpose and here we report on the power of this visual method for providing rich data but also provide some caveats for researchers who wish to use it with vulnerable populations.  Methodologically this study was informed by a qualitative analysis of visual and textual data related to a body mapping exercise with eleven young people who were participants in a four-day start-up workshop in a larger action research project. The findings reveal that, although being NEET negatively affects young people’s self-esteem, confidence, hope for the future, and general well-being, body mapping can help them to discover latent assets useful for reducing their insecurities. However, researchers using this method need to be well prepared to deal with possible emotional trauma and to this end, we provide some guidelines for the effective implementation of body mapping.

Keywords: Assets, holistic well-being, NEET, support needs, youth unemployment


Candace Kaye, Ph.D., Graduate Faculty, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, New Mexico USA; Mi Museo Director, ARTe VallARTa Museum, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico (santakaye@gmail.com)

Ana Espinoza, Mi Museo, ARTe VallARTa Museum, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico (espinosana1@gmail.com)​​​

Mi Museo A Museum Pariticpatory Investigation in Mexico

Round Table PAR Paper Presentation Sessions​

ART VallARTa Museum (AVM) in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico is a nonprofit, bilingual art center dedicated to expanding the local and international knowledge of contemporary and historical visual arts and culture. AVM is a young museum, a year old and is located in one of the oldest traditional barrios of the city, Zona Romantica. Focusing on the use of participatory action research, discussion of the evolvement of Mi Museo, an early arts education program in AVM is discussed. The pilot program, the first of its kind in the nation, serves teachers and children with limited access to art by connecting the required federal curriculum standards with museum exhibits through participation of neighborhood public schools. The museum is beginning an early arts education program through specifically connecting children in kindergarten classrooms in public school in Puerto Vallarta with the museum, using the national standards as a base. The early arts education program of AVM, entitled Mi Museo, has the goal of integrating Mexico’s federal/state standard curriculum of kindergarten within developmentally centered museum activities for the young children at the museum and in the neighborhood school classrooms. Three questions continue to guide the emergence of the pilot program in discussions are:

• How can a museum connect with neighborhood schools?

• How can a museum support national standards in an early arts program for kindergarten through second grade?

• How does a museum support teachers of young children in activities for the standard curriculum requirements?

Specifically, participatory research includes the views of everyone involved: their reality, their challenges, and their understanding of actions and outcomes. Thus, for the success of Mi Museo the participatory research project includes the director of the museum, kindergarten teachers and the early arts educator of the museum. The participatory research is identified by five characteristics: (1) an equity of participation by all individuals involved; (2) inclusion of all knowledge; (3) a focus on power and empowerment; (4) consciousness raising and education of all participants; and (5) knowledge leading to action. Participatory methods include a range of activities with a common thread: enabling as an inclusionary force all people who play an active and influential part in decisions which affect the emerging program. This means that all people are not just listened to, but also heard; and that there is a commitment that all voices shape outcomes. Our participatory research continues to produce an iterative plan of action with strategies to strive for best practices for Mi Museo. Four basic stages in the cyclical research process continue: reflect, plan, act, observe, and then reflect again to continue through the cycle. The proposed presentation consists of 20 slides and is timed for 20 seconds per slide—6 minutes and 40 seconds in total.


Milahd Makooi, Teacher, JeffCo Public Schools, Englewood, Colorado, USA (mmakooi@gmail.com)

Dane Stickney, Phd, Clinical Assistant Professor, University of Colorado, Denver, Colorado, USA (dane.stickney@ucdenver.edu)

YPAR in the Middle-School Classroom: Youth and Teacher Reflections on Power

Round Table PAR Paper Presentation Sessions​

The ARNA YPAR Action Research Community has been engaged in international, intergenerational conversations about and observations of YPAR. Our mission statement guides us in this work: “The ARNA YPAR group aims to draw both adult and youth practitioners together, from around the world and across generations, to better understand what YPAR is and share and exemplify good practice and develop new approaches and methodology in this field.” Milahd Makooi’s classroom has been an important space for the ARC, as we’ve met with him and his students regularly to actually see, hear, and feel what YPAR looks like. To that end, Milahd and his 8th grade students hope to share takeaways from their YPAR project this year that looked to make a dangerous street safer for pedestrians. The main finding is that YPAR empowered the youth deeply. They hope to show how in three main ways. First, the youth reported feeling empowered by being able to conduct root cause analysis on a real-world problem that mattered to them. In other words, they gained confidence by pointing out an injustice and explaining why it was unfair. Second, Milahd positioned the students as creative problem solvers, and the youth deeply appreciated and responded to it. For example, one student who hadn’t engaged in class all year became a key member in the project when he was able to dream up ways to make the street safer. His out-of-the-box idea was later adopted by city officials. Finally, to that point, the youth were forced to engage with real-world power players and elected officials. At first, the students didn’t think the adults would respond, but soon their lunch hours were booked with meetings with politicians, transit officials, and leaders at Uber. In each of these areas, students reported their feelings of empowerment and confidence grew. Participants will hear about it directly from the youth and their teacher in this paper presentation.

Presentation Outcomes:

• A rare, clear look into a public school classroom doing YPAR

• A chance to engage with youth actually doing YPAR

• Clear takeaways for the field on how youth experience YPAR​


Will Makoyiisaaminaa, Western Washington University, Bellingham, Washington, USA (will.nelson@hotmail.com)

Michael Vendiola, Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, LaConner, Washington, USA (mvendiola@swinomish.nsn.us)

Surfacing Swinomish Success in Education

PAR Workshop Sessions​

Uplifting Indigenous voices and surfacing inequities of all students, and particularly of our Native students, has been the work necessary for our students to see and experience greater success. The metrics that the State of Washington uses to measure success report that our Native students are performing at rates 25% lower than non-Native students. Is the system of measurement of success flawed? Is the delivery of instruction ineffective for Native students?  In partnership with the Education Department of the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, we conducted research using an Indigenous research paradigm that calls for relationship building, listening to stories and experiences of Swinomish tribal members who attended or who are attending La Conner Public Schools in La Conner, Washington. The purpose and research questions were generated through focus group interviews of Swinomish Indian Tribal Community elders, family members, parents, and educators. In other focus groups and individual interviews, Swinomish Indian Tribal Community elders, family members, parents, educators, and high school seniors, share their experiences at La Conner Public Schools. Their stories tell the reader the factors that contribute to successful experiences while sharing the barriers and challenges they faced as well.  From an analysis of these qualitative data, recommendations are presented to alleviate the barriers and challenges and enhance the successes of Swinomish students attending La Conner Public Schools.


Rachel Mayimele, PhD, Northwest University, Potchefstroom, South Africa (Rachel.Mayimele@nwu.ac.za)

Lesley Wood, DEd, Northwest University, Potchefstroom, South Africa (Lesley.Wood@nwu.ac.za)

Picturing Resilience and Psychosocial Support Needs for Youth Experiencing Social Inequality and Structural Injustice

Round Table PAR Paper Presentation Sessions

In South Africa, close to 50% of young people between the ages of 18 and 30 are not in employment, education, or further training (NEET). NEETs are at a higher risk of experiencing social exclusion, and mental health issues. This complex problem is rooted in historic social, economic, and educational inequalities that are not easily addressed, but engaging youth in action learning to identify and build on their assets can help build resilience to systemic adversities. Social-ecological resilience theory proposes that youth should be facilitated by supportive adults to maximise protective factors and reduce risk factors. We engaged 11 NEET youth, who had volunteered to participate in a larger participatory action learning and action research project, in a drawing exercise to help them to identify and reflect on their latent assets and possible support needs. Youth generated data through the draw and write method in answer to the prompt: “Do a drawing that represents the challenges you face in your daily life, as well as the personal strengths and social support that helps you cope.” Thematic analysis revealed many challenges including physical abuse, traumatic family contexts, lack of income, discrimination and substance abuse. However, facilitated group reflection on the drawings also enabled them to identify assets and support systems that could help them to build resilience. The findings point to the usefulness of drawing as a data generation method that promotes deep learning, builds self-esteem and self-confidence to turn the learning into positive action.


Dave McPartlan, PhD, University of Cumbria, UK (davemcpartlan@me.com)

Methodological Findings From a Phd Study: Young People Researching with Young People

Round Table PAR Paper Presentation Sessions

Based in an 11-18 comprehensive academy in the United Kingdom, my PhD is a critical investigation into the efficacy of a school’s mental health strategy. The action research project positioned young people as equal partners in the design, collection, data analysis and dissemination of findings. Two sets of findings emerged from this work. The first was linked to the whole school mental health strategy, and the second set of findings was methodological. It is the methodological findings that I will explore. As a study which required the participation of young people in the school, I initially focused on YPAR as the methodology. However, I then discovered Critical communicative methodology (CCM), a technique used to engage underprivileged communities in contributing to their self-improvement. I, therefore, synthesised YPAR and CCM to create a methodology I call Youth participative dialogic action research (YPDAR). The approaches to YPAR and CCM have a similar value base as under a social justice framework, they champion democracy, egalitarianism, emancipation, liberty and transformation. However, they have a subtle difference in the position, roles and relationships between the researched and the researcher. Whilst both were inclusive of the researched, CCM crystallised how I wanted to collaborate with the young people in school. My focus was to collaborate with the young people as the ‘holders’ of knowledge within the school by tapping into their ‘lifeworld’ (Latorre Beltran & Gómez, 2005). I was also acutely aware that they were subjects of oppression within the school system. I, therefore, needed to find a way of supporting young people to become transformative agents within this structure of oppression.

By taking learning from both YPAR and CCM, I aimed to empower young people through dialogic acts that enabled egalitarian intersubjectivity. This was achieved through a series of action research cycles between myself the researcher, my co-producing young researchers and younger participants. The principles of this work also embraced the CCM philosophy; the researcher and researched having a ‘universality of language’, working on an ‘equal epistemological level’, and there being an ‘absence of hierarchical interpretation’ between them. The results of the research were encouraging. All the young people involved in the research reported feeling more confident about themselves as well as being empowered by their role in the study. They also reported increased trust in the school. Their agency to act was being enhanced by this research as they were learning new skills and finding ways of helping transform both their own and others' lives. Whilst further research is required, I believe that YPDAR can also have a positive impact on school character as it can rebalance the power dynamic away from adults and towards young people in school.


Anyi Paola Muñoz Umaña, Social Worker, National University of Colombia; Master in Social Policy, Federal University of Mato Grosso Brazil; Feminist Gender Reference Professional Food and Life Territory Project, National University of Colombia and University of Cauca, Popayan, Colombia (apmunozu@unal.edu.co)

Eucaris Olaya, PhD in Social Work, Feminist Social Worker, Associate Professor, National University of Colombia, Bogota Campus, Faculty of Human Sciences, Colombia (euolaya@unal.edu.co)

Alexandra Milena Bastidas, Farm Nutritionist Dietitian, National University of Colombia;

Master in Food and Nutrition Security, National University of Colombia Reference Professional of Food Sovereignty Food and Life Territory Project, National University of Colombia and University of Cauca Observatory of Food and Nutrition Sovereignty and Security, National University of Colombia (ambostidasg@unal.edu.co)

Karen Daniela Valencia Gonzales, Social Work Student, National University of Colombia Intern in Gender Issues Food and Life Territory Project, National University of Colombia and University of Cauca (kvalencia@unal.edu.co)
Women's Meeting for the Revitalization of Food Sovereignty

(Translated from original Spanish language submission)

Roundtable PAR Paper Presentation Sessions

Motivated by plural life histories that converge in a common academic and political interest in community feminist studies, four women from different regions of Colombia assume the task of understanding the historical relationship between women and food sovereignty, and even more, in a global context of Hunger that threatens the survival, in particular, of indigenous, peasant, and Afro-descendant communities. According to the FAO, "between 60 and 80% of food production in the countries of the South falls on women" (2016), however, and paradoxically, the panorama of food and nutritional security in Latin America and the Caribbean (2022) points out that “food insecurity affects women more than men. The disparity in the region is 11.3 percentage points and is greater than that of the world”, with women being the largest producers of food, but the most affected by food insecurity. Thus, within the framework of the Territory, Food and Life project, created between the National University of Colombia and the University of Cauca, and financed by IDRC-Canada (2022-2025), territorial work begins with Misak and Ampiuile communities in Cauca, supported by contributions from Participatory Action Research (IAP). The objective is to promote and strengthen community processes that recognize the economic, social, political, spiritual and cultural contributions of domestic and care work, historically carried out by women, to food sovereignty, and advance their autonomy and decision-making in the community. family and community. From Social Work and Nutrition, the epistemological postulates of community feminisms were incorporated, where the experiences and life stories of indigenous women are at the center and, as long as they are part of communities that have resisted for centuries, their struggles are inseparable from the struggles of their peoples and territories. In turn, in accordance with the IAP, which claims all the knowledge that promotes actions for understanding and transformation, we work together with women as political actors in community research groups in a network with members of the project, based on the dialogue of knowledge , critical and purposeful reflections on the revitalization of food autonomy, own representations, concepts and methodologies associated with the investigative and transformation process. During the first meetings, pedagogical methods were incorporated that allowed exploring from affections, emotions, senses, presence and spirituality that guarantee trust and mutual respect. Walking the territory, walking the word, sharing food, meetings around the stove, are constituted by the integration of methodologies that are within the framework of focus groups, life stories, and photo-voice, which allow recording, from women, the perspectives of what may or may not be evident, and corpocartographies, which make it possible to find the relationship between the body, territory and food. As part of the National University of Colombia we will be in the territory for three years. We recognize that our condition as women goes beyond research, we will walk with indigenous women deconstructing paradigms inherited from the academy on food, questioning the patriarchy established in indigenous peoples and evidencing coping strategies for inequalities, support networks and daily resistance of women, generally unknown.​


Myagmarsuren Orosoo, PhD, Associate Professor, Mongolian National University of Education, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia (myagmarsuren@msue.edu.mn)

Action Research for Improving English Reading Skill and Impact of Neuro-Linguistic Programming

Round Table PAR Paper Presentation Sessions

The main goal of this presentation is to give a thorough summary of the research issue, including the study's goals and objectives, as well as the background of the study, significance, and the rationale of the study. One of the most crucial language abilities for students in higher education is reading comprehension. Through the creation and use of action plans based on reading strategies, the goal of this study was to enhance the reading comprehension abilities of students at the Mongolian National University of Education (MNUE). One of the qualitative research techniques was the participatory action research design. The study involved 40 students who attended a general English language class in Mongolia in the fall of 2022. First, pre-tests were conducted to gauge students' readiness for the curriculum-required reading comprehension exercises. Next, action plans related to the neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) components were developed and implemented in 16 weeks. The results of a reading comprehension progressive test and post-test revealed that the NLP methods and techniques of rapport, perceptual positioning, pacing and leading, creating positive states and anchoring, reframing, mirroring, maintaining flow, and modeling good practices have improved students' reading comprehension skills and eagerness to learn. Additionally, participant observations, conversation-style interviews with the classroom teacher and students, reflective journals, and video recordings were used to collect input about the implementation process (qualitative data). The errors students made throughout the reading comprehension exercise decreased, according to the results. During the implementation phase, the employment of various technological tools, software programs, and reading approaches helped students concentrate more on the activities, increase their interest in them, and make learning more enjoyable thanks to NLP techniques. The use of NLP techniques and the action research cycle can significantly improve the reading comprehension of undergraduate Mongolian students who are learning English as a foreign language (EFL).​


Donald D. Pepion, EdD, Emeritus Professor, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, New Mexico, USA (dpepion@nmsu.edu)

Becoming Piikani: A Native American Worldview

Paper Presentation

This paper examines the ideology of how a culture group called the Piikani (Blackfeet) lived experience manifests into a way of knowing and being.  The Piikani believe the essence of life is striving to a holistic ideal of being.  It is about a quest towards a cohesive but elusive embodiment of existence. The composition explores how Piikani life is a coming-to-knowing or becoming through the social-cultural, ceremonial and spiritual realms of their lived experience. Through a series of age-graded cultural societies or sodalities, individuals and their peer’s journey through a life infused with ever-increasing knowledge and spirituality. The essay examines how some of the spiritual leaders and elders explain becoming using metaphorical symbols such as the teepee encampment and medicine lodge layout in the Ookaan or Sundance.  A commentary reflection couches how Native knowledge is manifested in contemporary lifeways and scholarly pursuits by Indigenous academicians. Native worldview is wholistic, relational, animistic and possesses energy (spirit). The ontological difference of becoming and being between Western and Native knowledge is articulated. Certain Native scholars use some of the principles and concepts of quantum theory to explain Indigenous ways of knowing. Native philosophers emphasize the importance of ontological difference as an indigenous way of truth rather than the epistemological constructs of Western knowledge. The paper examines the idea of new concepts of selfhood between Western individualism and Indigenous valuing group and tribal identity. The conclusion reveals an impasse between Eurocentric-Western and Indigenous epistemology and ontology.


Rachel Radina, PhD, Assistant Professor in Educational Leadership, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, Michigan, USA (rradina@emich.edu)

Dane Stickney, PhD, Clinical Assistant Professor, University of Colorado, Denver, Colorado, USA


Dave McPartlan, PhD, University of Cumbria, UK (davemcpartlan@me.com)

Troubling Ethical Dilemmas in Youth Participatory Action Research

PAR Workshop Sessions​

Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) is a way to engage in research with youth instead of using traditional ways of doing research on youth. YPAR has emancipatory potential, as it centers the voices and experiences of youth. However, there are many ethical challenges that must be considered when engaging in this work.  In this workshop we will share some of our own experiences with ethical dilemmas when engaging in YPAR.  We will also give participants the opportunity to think through ethical dilemmas and brainstorm ways to address the issues that may arise when working with youth.


•Provide space to engage in critical dialogue about ethical dilemmas that may arise when engaging in Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR).

•Share strategies to address ethical dilemmas when engaging with youth through YPAR.

•Create a network of scholars engaged in the work of creating ethical standards and considerations when engaging in YPAR.


•Facilitators will share some examples of ethical dilemmas we’ve faced when engaging​in YPAR

•Participants will be given scenarios to discuss in small groups (breakout rooms). This time will be used to brainstorm approaches to YPAR that attend to ethical issues.

•Participants will share what they discussed with the larger group and the remaining time will be used to engage in critical dialogue about the scenarios and possible solutions

•Contact information will be collected in the session so we can create a network of scholars engaged in this important work.


Noluvo Rangana, PhD, Nelson Mandela University, Eastern Cape, South Africa


Positioning Community Members as Isisele Senyathi (Reservoirs Of Knowledge) in University-Community Engagements: A PALAR Approach

Round Table PAR Paper Presentation Sessions

Acknowledging the wisdom of community members and celebrating their contributions in collaborative projects carries enormous value in the success of university-community engagement. Participatory Action Learning and Action Research positions the community members as equal contributors to knowledge creation, enhances the community engagement and strengthens the relationships in the university and community partnerships.

This study recognised community members as co-researchers and sought to establish the participants’ perceptions about the Participatory Action Learning and Action Research approach used to develop school improvement plans in Community Schools. The study focused on the Centre for the Community School which is located in the Faculty of Education at the Nelson Mandela University. The participants of the study comprised of community members, school principals, teachers, and staff from the Nelson Mandela University’s Centre for the Community School. Together the participants formed an Action Learning Set. The theory that underpinned the study was critical pedagogy and the research methodology used was Participatory Action Learning and Action Research. To generate data, the study made use of collages and drawings and a thematic analysis was used to analyse data. The findings revealed that the participants found the PALAR approach to encourage collaboration and that the approach values and appreciates diversity. Furthermore, the findings indicate that the participants found the PALAR approach empowering and through PALAR they created meaningful lifelong relationships. An African calabash model was developed during the study that specifically acknowledges the wisdom of community members and positions them as reservoirs of knowledge.


Swaroop Rawal, Sardar Patel University, Gujarat, Mumbai, India (dearswaroop@hotmail.com)

Neema Parekh, Adarsh Primary School Lavad, Gujarat, India (parekhnima@gmail.com)

Facilitating Social Change through Participatory Action Research and Living Educational Theory: A Narrative of Creating a Pre-Vocational Education Program for Primary School Students in India

Round Table PAR Paper Presentation Sessions

This paper is based on my theoretical research over the last ten years on Participatory Action Research (PAR) and Living Educational Theory (Whitehead, 1985). In 2011, the Ministry of Education in India launched the National Vocational Education Qualifications Framework (NVEQF), aimed at integrating vocational education with general education for students from the 9th grade upwards. However, there were no provisions for pre-vocational learning for primary school students. Although I helped create the curriculum, I failed to address the needs of primary school students, which I later recognized as a mistake. In 2012, I worked with children from different social strata and realized that I was a "living contradiction." As a teacher-researcher, my living-theory is dynamic and constantly evolving, as my experiences and beliefs inform one another. When my actions and values are not aligned, I become a "living contradiction." Hence, it is my responsibility to continuously evaluate the purpose of education and my role in the classroom. Together with another teacher, Neema Parekh, we collaborated to facilitate an effective pre-vocational education program in a government primary school in Lavad, India. Through this PAR effort, we co-discovered, co-designed, and implemented solutions to the challenges faced by the community. We created a "wonderfully special" pre-vocational curriculum for the marginalized students, which helped to negate the contradiction we experienced in our practice. This paper addresses the core principles of PAR, which involves a systematic inquiry, collaboration with those affected by the issue being studied and taking action or effecting change. Through our collaborative efforts, we showcase the importance of living-education-theory and its application in addressing practical educational challenges by highlighting our educational influences in our own learning, in the learning of others, and in the learning of the social formations that shape our practice. The cycle of our approach involves experiencing problems when our educational values are negated in our practice, imagining ways of overcoming these problems, acting on a chosen solution, evaluating the outcomes of our actions, and modifying our problems, ideas, and actions in the light of our evaluations.

Overall, our research aimed to create social change that would benefit all partners, including the students, the villagers, the teachers, and both Neema and me. Through this PAR effort, we were able to address the needs of primary school students and create a curriculum that would provide an exposure to vocational education. This experience highlighted the importance of continuous reflection and refinement of our practices to align our actions with our values and make sense of our experiences. “Revolutionizing Pre-Vocational Education through Participatory Action Research: A Living Educational Theory Approach to a 10-day Bagless Curriculum”

presents my professional journey and contribution to educational theory, focusing on a 10-day bagless school curriculum aimed at enhancing the educational experiences of young people in the context of pre-vocational education. I have integrated this with my ongoing engagement with and contribution to India's national educational policy. The paper offers an original contribution to the development of educational thought with regard to holistic learning and pre-vocational education. Through my living-educational-theory and participatory research, I believe I have made a significant and novel contribution to Living Educational Theory research.

“Beyond Curriculum Design: The Role of a Head-Teacher in Fostering Social Change through Participatory Action Research and Living Educational Theory” explores Neema’s experiences.

Developing an educational curriculum is a challenging task, particularly when designing a unique program like our 10-day bagless school project. Our curriculum was based on child development theories, systematic assessment, and reflection. In this paper, I explore the responsibilities of a head-teacher in a government primary school, which go beyond curriculum design to ensuring the smooth functioning of the school. Our research project may not have included a direct action component, but all parties involved were committed to applying the research results towards a social change effort that benefits all stakeholders. Through participatory action research and Living Educational Theory, we demonstrate the social change we achieved.


Florencia Rojo, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Sociology, Colorado College, Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA (frojo@coloradocollege.edu)​

Calah Gallegos, Youth Researcher

Jose Dominguez Mendoza, Youth Researcher​

Dylan White-Stolfus, Youth Researcher

PARTY with Us: Youth Researchers' Family Recipe Project

Round Table PAR Paper Presentation Sessions​

This paper describes methodological innovations to YPAR and qualitative interview approaches developed by youth researchers in the Participatory Action Research Team for Youth (PARTY) program. Seeking to address two interrelated research questions: 1) How do families in Southeast Colorado Springs get what they need to make important family recipes; 2) how do family stories and memories about those recipes shape family members’ relationship to food and community? PARTY youth researchers decided to conduct in-depth qualitative cooking interviews and ethnographic observations with families in the Southeast Colorado Springs community to make a digital community-family cookbook. In this presentation, three PARTY youth researchers—with the support of a faculty mentor—describe the process through which they developed their research topic, questions, and methodological approach. They also highlight preliminary findings they have shared with the broader community.  PARTY was a weekly program for youth 14-19 held Tuesday afternoons at Food to Power, a community-based food justice organization in Colorado Springs, during the Fall of 2022 and Spring of 2023. The program was developed out of an existing community-based research partnership between Food to Power (FTP)’s education team and a sociology professor at Colorado College (CC). Informed by critical pedagogies (e.g., Freire 1968), Participatory Action Research scholarship (e.g., Fals-Borda 1987), indigenous methodologies (e.g., Tuck 2009), and the food justice movement, adult facilitators developed a curriculum that prompted youth researchers to identify a food-related issue in their community to investigate for the duration of the program. In the program, adult collaborators from FTP and CC co-taught PARTY members research, communication, and team-building skills needed to conduct a research project in their neighborhoods. PARTY youth drove the topic and agenda, posed research questions, selected their methods, and carried out the project with adult assistance and facilitation. As a result, the PARTY youth developed a project that allowed them to highlight community knowledges and celebrate their families in a way that challenged dominant deficiency-based narratives of low-income, low-food access communities.  Participants in the family recipe project were recruited through FTP’s biweekly no-cost grocery program and through snowball sampling among PARTY youth’s families and school communities. PARTY youth conducted 19 group interviews with 53 participants to collect 19 family recipes. In each interview, the youth observed family members cooking an intergenerational family dish, recorded the recipe in photos and written fieldnotes, and used the cooking as a prompt for interviewing family members about the importance and meaning of the dish. Interviews were audio recorded and transcribed for analysis with the support of adult collaborators. Youth plan to disseminate results by compiling recipes and accompanying family stories on a publicly available website, holding a community event at FTP to share recipes and stories, sharing recipes at FTP’s no-cost grocery program with accompanying ingredients, and inviting participants to conduct cooking workshops at FTP.

Through this experience, youth become critical thinkers who engage one another with empathy, solidarity, and collaboration.


Debasmita Roychowdhury, PhD, Associate Professor of English, Doña Ana Community College of the New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, New Mexico, USA (droychow@nmsu.edu)

Federico Almarez, PhD, Assistant Professor of English, Doña Ana Community College of the New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, New Mexico, USA (falmarez@nmsu.edu)

Fostering Community Development with Radical Participatory Democracy and Critical Media Literacy in a Writing Class While Enhancing Social Consciousness

Round Table PAR Paper Presentation Sessions​

Practicing radical participatory democracy in classroom means grassroots engagement in opposition to top-down curriculum and traditional teaching practice. Radical participatory pedagogy implies that students participate in defining curricular topics that are important to them. This pedagogy transforms a writing class from merely focusing on technical aspects to becoming an engaging and inspirational space for learning. Critical Media Literacy (CML) facilitates students’ engagement with topics on critical social issues that are usually overlooked and unexamined in educational spaces. College composition courses are typically taught following a formulaic five-paragraph essay or short research papers. The pedagogical focus in most cases is in mastering the mechanical arrangement, style, syntax, grammar, and spelling (Berlin, 1982; Winterowd, 1998; Young, 2009). Because of this trend, most first year college students have fear, apprehension, and apathy towards writing. Our broad study objective was to enact a critical literacy approach (specifically CML) and PAR pedagogy to engage students in writing with purpose and meaning while developing social consciousness. Our presentation purpose here is to demonstrate how to foster critical literacy in a college writing class by creating a dialectic dynamics among radical participatory democratic pedagogy, critical media literacy experiences, and community development. This resulted in enhanced social justice consciousness and purposeful writing among participants. This study’s research methodology is Participatory Action Research (PAR), an interplay of research, pedagogy, and communitarian work. Radical participatory democracy was facilitated by engaging students in selecting the topics (videos/articles) from mainstream/corporate media and from independent public interest media. Topics collected by the students were shared with the entire class. Students then selected their preferred video clip or short article from the list, which served as discussion topic and inspiration for free writings. Instructor modeled this activity first by presenting video or article of his/her choice. The study has been conducted for last four semesters. In PAR studies like this, the results are about the transformations of student participants and their teachers.  Students’ transformations are documented by looking at their writings and responses.


Stella Pino Salamanca, EdD, Universidad del Cauca, Popayán, Colombia (stellapino@unicauca.edu.co)

The Other School. School Coexistence and Construction of Peace Processes

(Translated from original Spanish language submission)

PAR Document Presentation Sessions

The other school. School coexistence and construction of peace processes


Heloise Sathorar, PhD, Nelson Mandela University, Eastern Cape, South Africa (heloise.sathorar@mandela.ac.za)

Celebrating the Value of Participatory Action Research in Community-University Partnerships: Reflecting on the Diverse Realities of Co-Creating Knowledge

Round Table PAR Paper Presentation Sessions

As part of the post-apartheid reconstruction of the South African Higher Education system, universities have included community engagement as one of the three pillars of its core business along with teaching and research. The focus on community engagement was ignited by the requirement to enhance university networking through establishing partnerships with the communities it serves.  The White Paper on the transformation of Higher Education sets out broad national goals and refers to community engagement as an integral and core part of Higher Education in South Africa. The White Paper makes specific reference to the role community engagement can play in transforming the Higher Education system. Higher Education Institutions (HEI’s) are called on, to "demonstrate social responsibility and their commitment to the common good by making available expertise and infrastructure for community service programmes." This statement seems to suggest that HEIs are the knowers within communities without acknowledging the contribution that the diverse communities it serves can make to knowledge creation. This approach to community engagement by HEI’s is characterized by the hegemonic notion that universities are the only institutions who have knowledge to offer. In addition, due to our particular history in South Africa, universities are still perceived as institutions who extract information from communities without making any meaningful contributions to these communities, including not recognizing the voice and agency of the people on who they were doing research. Despite several legislations and effort to enhance university community engagement, this remains a contested space where power relations, inequality and claims to knowledge ownership continues to pose challenges. This paper reflects on Nelson Mandela University’s collaboration in a community-based project, to enhance understanding of community engagement and to seek ways to enhance the co-creation of knowledge through university community partnerships. A Participatory Action Research Approach was followed and visual data gathering strategies were employed to tap into the perceptions of academics as well as community members regarding community engagement and how university community partnerships can be enhanced to facilitate the co-creation of knowledge. The findings revealed the importance of establishing mutually beneficial relationships in community-university partnerships, where the knowledge and experiences of community members are acknowledged.


Jules Rochielle Sievert, PHD Student NU College of Art, Media and Design and Creative Director at NuLawLab,  Northeastern University School of Law, Boston, Massachusetts, USA (julesrochielle@gmail.com)

Radical Participation: The Power of Design to Transform the Systems and Institutions

Panel Discussion

My research consists of a theoretical and historical framing of Wicked Problems, Entanglements, Socio-Legal Systems, Radical Imagination and Trauma-Informed Design. Design as a field discipline is continuously evolving, and so are the collective methods, tools, and techniques that constitute it. Connecting design to law highlights the inherent power of design to transform the systems and institutions around us. The East Boston Spatial Justice Lab has a research plan that aims to understand how art and cultural organizing in East Boston works in combination with legal systems and legal advocacy to impact a sense of belonging, community well-being, and subsequent policy change.​



Carlos Chiu, Director, Colegio de Ciencias, Peru (Cchiu@colegiociencias.com)

Clotilde Lomeli Agruel, Professor-Researcher at the Faculty of Educational Pedagogy and Innovation (FPIE) of the Autonomous University of Baja California (UABC), Mexico (cotylomeli@uabc.edu.mx)

Christine Lechner, Coordinator of “Action Research Communities for Language Teachers", ECML, Austria (christine.lechner@protonmail.com)

Teri Marcos, Professor and Program Director, Ed.D in Organizational Innovation, National University, USA (tmarcos@nu.edu)

Linda Purrington, Co-Director, Center for Collaborative Action Research, USA (linda.purrington@pepperdine.edu)

Geitza Rebolledo -Titular Professor. Universidad Pedagógica Libertador. Doctorado de Educación Ambiental UPEL IPC, Caracas, Venezuela (geitzarebolledo8@gmail.com)

Margaret Riel, Ph.D., Director, Center for Collaborative Action Research, USA (mmriel@gmail.com)

Alexandria Rockey, Professor of Academic Technology, Bakersfield College, Bakersfield, California, USA (alexandria.rockey@bakersfieldcollege.edu)

Ingibjörg Ósk Sigurðardóttir, Associate Professor, University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland (ios@hi.is)

Kimmie Tang, Associate Professor in the School of Education, Biola and CLU Online, LaMirada, California, USA (ktangmsmc@gmail.com)

Supporting the Teaching of Action Research (STAR) and Artificial Intelligences

PAR Workshop Sessions​

The STAR-Community is sponsoring an online chat at the 2023 Annual ARNA Conference on the implication of artificial intelligence for teaching action research.   The aim of the session is to create thoughtful and inclusive discussion Zoom breakout rooms. One discussion will be moderated in Spanish and the other in English. A secondary goal of our session is to invite participation in the STAR-Community at multiple levels. Participants will be invited to join the STAR-Community to continue to evolve the tools and ideas for supporting the teaching of action research.

Session Overview:

1. Video Introduction to STAR-Community

2. Discussion (Spanish or English) on how Artificial Intelligence

(Access to ChatGPT) impacts Teaching Action Research

3. Invitation to Join the STAR-Community


Dane Stickney, Ph.D., Clinical Professor of Education, University of Denver, Denver, Colorado USA (dane.stickney@ucdenver.edu)

CARN Pre-Conference Study Day

Worldwide YPAR: Findings from an Asynchronous Global Conversation Among Youth

Round Table PAR Paper Presentation Sessions

The ARNA YPAR Action Research Community has been engaged in international, intergenerational conversations about and observations of YPAR. Our mission statement guides us in this work: “The ARNA YPAR group aims to draw both adult and youth practitioners together, from around the world and across generations, to better understand what YPAR is and share and exemplify good practice and develop new approaches and methodology in this field”. One of the major goals in this work was to connect youth around the world. Because of time zones, school bell times, and other hurdles, we haven’t accomplished this goal. This proposal is my attempt to do that. In the month leading up to the ARNA conference and using the digital platform Flipgrid, I have created two video prompts that ask about the external (systemic, social change) and internal (ie: empowerment) impacts of YPAR. Youth engaged with YPAR will be invited to respond to the prompt in their own, short, asynchronous videos. They can also respond to each other’s videos, creating a sort of global conversation among youth about YPAR. I will leverage connections through the ARNA to achieve this. Dave McPartlan’s youth colleagues in the United Kingdom, Konstantinos Sipitanos’ youth researchers in Greece and other parts of Europe, and two ARNA members and their students in JeffCo Public Schools in Colorado – school counselor Scott Merkel and teacher Milahd Makooi. After the youth respond to the videos, I will watch and code them. This data/information will provide the crux of my paper presentation.

Presentation Outcomes:

• Clear understanding of a novel approach to asynchronously connecting youth around the world

• Compelling thoughts from youth around the world shared succinctly

• A rare global connection connecting youth across countries, cultures, and time zones


Dane Stickney, Ph.D., Clinical Professor of Education, University of Denver, Denver, Colorado USA (dane.stickney@ucdenver.edu)

Milahd Makooi, Teacher, JeffCo Public Schools, Englewood, Colorado, USA (mmakooi@gmail.com)

Rachel Kulick, UMASS-Dartmouth, Dartmouth, Massachusetts, USA (rkulick@umassd.edu)

Dave McPartlan, University of Cumbria, UK (davemcpartlan@icloud.com)​

The Need for Vulnerability in YPAR

The ARNA YPAR Action Research Community has been engaged in international, intergenerational conversations about and observations of YPAR. Our mission statement guides us in this work: “The ARNA YPAR group aims to draw both adult and youth practitioners together, from around the world and across generations, to better understand what YPAR is and share and exemplify good practice and develop new approaches and methodology in this field”. We are excited to share one of our emerging findings around the importance of vulnerability in the YPAR process. As Stickney (2022) noted, adult disposition is vital to finding transformational success with YPAR. After observing a teacher implement YPAR in a public school classroom, Stickney (2022) found that teacher vulnerability was key toward building the vibe necessary for the youth feeling trusting and able to in turn be their real and open selves. Specifically, Stickney found, teachers should be authentic or keep it real, sharing about their experiences, struggles, and victories. Adults can also foster vulnerability by showing genuine care for youth, operationalizing pedagogical love. This includes supporting youth to examine, what Espinoza and colleagues (2020) call, their “sorrows unspeakable” in service of crafting their own “thrumming song”. This type of work can have powerful outcomes but only when the space is safe enough to share and have one’s lived experience taken seriously. Teachers should also show vulnerability by being pedagogically flexible (Irizarry & Brown, 2014) and adopt a tinkerer’s mentality, approaching pedagogical struggles as important, personal learning moments (Kirshner, 2015). Milahd Makooi has enacted YPAR in his 8th grade social studies classroom, which has served as a key site of observation and connection for the ARNA YPAR ARC. He and his students are the core of this panel discussion about the importance of vulnerability in YPAR. Rachel Kulick will share her view from the academic-researcher role, including what she has learned from Milahd and his students. Dave McPartlan’s dissertation research in the UK examined the importance of vulnerability in YPAR work. Dane Stickney, chair of the ARNA YPAR ARC, will facilitate the discussion and hopefully thread these reach stories and experiences into one compelling panel.

Outcomes: This relates to the conference theme around methods, specifically:

• Providing a concrete look into the method of vulnerability and how it can support YPAR in the public school classroom

• Amplifying the voice and experience of adults and students engaged in YPAR at different    levels.

• Inspiring other educators and researchers to enact pedagogies of vulnerability, including YPAR

Strategies for Workshop Engagement: We see this as a standard panel discussion and hope that the varied voices, lived experiences, and positions to YPAR result in an engaging conversation. We will leave time for audience questions throughout the discussion.


Dane Stickney, Ph.D., Clinical Professor of Education, University of Denver, Colorado USA (dane.stickney@ucdenver.edu)

Milahd Makooi, Teacher, JeffCo Public Schools, Englewood, Colorado, USA (mmakooi@gmail.com)

Donna Benson, Medical Arts Health Research Group, British Columbia, Canada  (donnabenson59@yahoo.com)

Rachel Kulick, UMASS-Dartmouth, USA (rkulick@umassd.edu)

Rachel Radina, Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership, University of Eastern Michigan, USA

Dave McPartlan, University of Cumbria, UK (davemcpartlan@icloud.com)​

Konstantinos Sipitanos, University of Crete, Greece (sipitanoskonstant@gmail.com)

Making Learning Pop!: An International, Intergenerational YPAR Experience

PAR Workshop Sessions​

The ARNA YPAR Action Research Community has been engaged in international, intergenerational conversations about and observations of YPAR. Our mission statement guides us in this work: “The ARNA YPAR group aims to draw both adult and youth practitioners together, from around the world and across generations, to better understand what YPAR is and share and exemplify good practice and develop new approaches and methodology in this field”. We’ve learned some important things about YPAR and learning in general that we’d like to share. These findings help make classrooms and other learning spaces pop! First, learning spaces should be safe for both learners and teachers to share from lived experiences. No one exhibited this better than Milahd Makooi, whose classroom served as sort of a learning lab for our collective as his loss of a friend in a traffic accident launched his 8th grade class into an exciting journey into YPAR. He and his students will share. Second, there is value in what Kishner (2015) calls intergenerational spaces, where people of different ages come together. Our ARC has members in their 60s; Milahd’s youngest student was 13. Deeply interesting takeaways emerged from these intergenerational spaces. Finally, our group has an international focus, which helps us transcend some of the nationalism and politics that can make conversations about civics and activism difficult. These different cultural views enriched out ARC. That said, these findings are ripe with challenges, tensions, and barriers. We explore those as well and offer several interactive opportunities for participants to stretch our thinking. Our learning outcomes are tied to conference theme around methods. We want to show adults how to make educational experiences with youth pop. Participants will:

• Hear from an intergenerational, international collective about a year’s worth of work aimed at understanding what makes learning pop for youth around the world

• Leave with a praxis understanding linking YPAR theory with discrete activities, examples, and ideas to translate to their own setting

• Consider the inherent challenges in shifting from status quo educational offerings to more progressive participatory practices

• Glimpse into our ARC, which we are immensely proud of, that features youth and adult members from Greece, the UK, Canada, and the United States


Suzy Thomas, Ph.D., Professor, Saint Mary's College of California, USA (sthomas@stmarys-ca.edu)

Examining Themes of School Safety and Inclusion: A Panel Presentation and Discussion of Action Research Proposals in School Counseling

PAR Panel Sessions

This presentation showcases works-in-progress from three school counseling graduate student teams, focused on the overarching theme of safety and belonging in K-12 schools. This theme is timely, given the prevalence of mass shootings in the United States, which The New York Timesrecently described as an “epidemic” (April 14, 2023). Each team includes 2-3 graduate students who have chosen one dimension of school safety as the basis for a school-based action research proposal in their first practicum placement. The presentation includes a description of the community and problem to be investigated, integration of relevant literature, and the data collection and analysis plan. Students studied the role of the school counselor and best practices in the field of school counseling (Aragon et al., 2020; ASCA, 2021), principles of collaborative action research and the mission of ARNA (Thomas, 2017; Uresti & Thomas, 2022), and social justice and anti-racism practices in education and school counseling (Atkins & Oglesby, 2019). They integrate these into their presentation, highlighted in a 5-minute video that introduces the problem they wish to study and presents an overview of relevant literature and research. The students will discuss the action research principles they relied on in conceptualizing their proposal and share an original assessment instrument that they developed (e.g., a survey or interview protocol). They will suggest ideas for school-based interventions that school counselors could implement based on the potential outcomes of the proposed studies. They will also offer reflections about the experience of developing an action research proposal and what they might do differently in a future research project, the relevance to their training in school counseling and to the principles of social justice and anti-racism, and what they look forward to as next steps in their development.  At the time of the proposal deadline, the teams are formed and have framed their initial focus. Teams are currently reviewing literature and working on study design. Proposal titles are:

• Teacher Perceptions of Bullying in K-12 Schools with Special Education Programs

• The Impact of Peer Victimization on Feelings of Inclusion and Safety in Schools

• Influence of Social Media on Middle School Student Development

Each video will be shared, followed by comments from panelists and the invited moderator, a school counselor educator from another institution. Target participant groups include ARNA members who are interested in learning more about school counselors in the United States, and conference attendees from education and community-based settings. The audience will be asked to offer comments about each proposal and invited to ask questions. We will encourage an interactive discussion of the projects, so that students can hear feedback from ARNA members about their work and engage in ongoing reflection about their involvement in action research as a tool for change in school counseling. ​


Rachel M. Watson, Director of Digital and Inclusive Teaching and Learning and Senior Lecturer, University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming, USA (rwatson@uwyo.edu) ​

Christine Boggs, Associate Director of Digital and Inclusive Teaching and Learning,

University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming, USA (cboggs@uwyo.edu)

Erin Bentley, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming, USA

Eva Smith, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming, USA

Ali Ceretto, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming, USA

Izzy Bergemann, Undergraduate Student, University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming, USA

Kaj Taylor, Undergraduate Student, University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming, USA

Sammy Veauthier, Undergraduate Student, University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming, USA

Isabella Brown, Undergraduate Student, University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming, USA

Sean Kraemer, Undergraduate Student, University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming, USA

Jamison Peacock, Undergraduate Student, University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming, USA

Using the Environmental Injustice of Owens Dry Lakebed to Inspire Scientific and Participatory Action Student Research at the University of Wyoming

PAR Panel Sessions

For thousands of years, Owen’s Lake and the surrounding hydrologic landscape served as the lifeblood of the Valley’s Paiute and Shoshone Tribes. However, in the early 20th century, the City of Los Angeles systematically drained Owens Lake to support its growing metropolis. This social and environmental injustice was amplified by mining within the valley which resulted in sixteen toxic superfund sites, creating a landscape that is now the highest worldwide emitter of carcinogenic dust. Out of this cataclysm grew the Owens Dry Lakebed Project, a science-art collaboration between The Optics Division of Metabolic Studio, the University of Wyoming (UW) Nordic Ski Team, UW Microbiology program, the Microbestiary Outreach Project, and Laramie Wyoming High School Advanced 3-D art class. Metabolic Studio’s Project, called the Owens Dry Lakebed Print Collection, utilizes alkaline, thiosulfate-rich regions of the lakebed to fix photographic film. The beauty of the resultant art is an embodiment of the capacity of the landscape, labeled a wasteland, to create art and support life. In the first semester of sci-art research and collaboration, UW students explored the microbiology and chemistry of the soil and water as it interacted with print fixation, the high school students created their own land-based art, and graduate students in fine arts and science education produced a documentary film showcasing the art, partnership, and research. While the initial curriculum design, student research, and creative activity was pedagogically framed through the lenses of environmental justice, transdisciplinarity, and queer and crip theory, it fell short of integrating traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) and acknowledging the inextricable link between anthropogenic environmental injustice and human health and dysbiosis. Thus, in our second semester of inquiry, students are utilizing the Owens lakebed phenomenon to construct independent participatory action research (PAR) projects that integrate TEK as a way of knowing. Projects include: 1) working collaboratively with members of the Owens Valley Lone Pine Paiute-Shoshone Tribe to consider art as a lens for understanding historic socio-environmental injustice and integrating this insight into new art and music projects; 2) investigating how TEK could inform avoiding similar catastrophes; 3) investigating the changes in art over time in response to the changing landscape through variable ways of knowing such as Indigenous Futurism; 4) using the history of the Owens Lakebed to create awareness of the eminent desiccation of similar ecosystems through art and scientific modeling; and 5) comparing similar desiccation events to identify policy trends to prevent future environmental disasters. Integrating PAR with TEK creates a lens through which students’ scientific and artistic inquiry more holistically recognizes and conveys the breadth of anthropogenic environmental injustices, and provides a portrait of landscapes, reflecting the past and offering possible routes for ecological reparation moving forward.​


Lesley Wood, DEd, Professor, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa​​​ (Lesley.wood@nwu.ac.za)

An Ethical, Inclusive and Sustainable Framework for Community Based Research with Vulnerable Populations

Round Table PAR Paper Presentation Sessions

Much has been written about the need for the university to become more socially engaged. In the global south, this means working with people who have been rendered vulnerable through systemic injustice. However, due to historical oppression, such ‘participants’ in community-based research (CBR) may not have the confidence to engage fully and freely in the research. Thus, CBR must develop participants’ abilities in dialogue, negotiation, questioning and critical thinking. In addition, traditional research training does not prepare academic researchers to co-construct knowledge within trusting, democratic relationships with external knowledge bearers. Until recently, it was widely accepted that knowledge is embodied within a highly educated elite: indigenous and other knowledges have generally not been recognised, let alone appreciated. Also, the academic and ethics procedures in higher education were developed to suit an objective paradigm, resulting in difficulties and frustrations when trying to gain approval for CBR studies. Studies which were initially meant to be participatory, are often changed to be more in line with traditional, objective research. To address these moral and ethical dilemmas, we conducted a five-year participatory action learning and action research study to: 1) explore how to build the capacity of academics to conduct CBR; 2) develop a system to ensure the learning of the community is valued and recognised; and 3) develop ethical processes suited for CBR. This paper presents a framework, based on the findings, to guide CBR with vulnerable populations so that the process is more ethical, inclusive and sustainable. This framework contributes both to building conceptual knowledge in participatory research and to ethical, problem-solving practices.​


Yayenca Yllas Frachia, Master's Degree Candidate in Technology for Social Development,

Interdisciplinary Nucleus for Social Development (NIDES) / Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (yayenca@gmail.com)

Research-Action as a Methodological Central Axis for the Implementation of a School Garden as a Pedagogical Proposal

(Translated from original Spanish language submission)

PAR Round Table Document Presentation Sessions, PAR Panel Sessions

This work is the result of the dissertation for the master's degree in Technology for Social Development at NIDES*. The research was carried out during nineteen months of eco-pedagogical practices that aimed at the implementation of a school garden using action research as the central methodological axis (Thiollent, 1986; Montero, 2006), complemented by participant observation (Gil, 1987; May, 2004), the application of semi-structured questionnaires (Minayo, 2007) and conversation rounds (Afonso & Abade, 2008). The field of study was the Pedro Ernesto Municipal School, in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The meetings took place from May 2021, when face-to-face activities resumed after 14 months of isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, until December 2022. It had 281 students as participants in 2021 and 291 in 2022 (1st to 5th year of Primary), 11 teachers, 1 pedagogical coordinator, 2 directors, 2 educational agents, 3 cooks, 4 maintenance workers and 1 researcher. Its general objective was to evaluate the potential of the school garden as an eco-pedagogical space that promotes interdisciplinary and transversal educational practices based on Critical Environmental Education (Carvalho, 2008; Ceccon, 2012). Thus, four specific objectives were linked: 1) Evaluate, through dialogical planning, the connections between curricular contents and agroecological practices. 2) Promote the training and participation of teachers in the development of interdisciplinary pedagogical practices based on agroecology, interconnecting concepts of Natural Sciences, History, Biology, Portuguese Language, Geography and Mathematics. 3) Evaluate the performance of the eco-pedagogical practice using the garden as an instrument of environmental awareness of the students about the preservation of natural resources and healthy eating. 4) Analyze the process of belonging and identity as "the garden belongs to the school", to the school community, as a key element for the consolidation of a pedagogical practice of Critical Environmental Education. In this way, various results emerged, such as the spirit of cooperation and participation of the members; modifications related to values, attitudes and habits of students, teachers and families; the contribution to the formal teaching and learning process that went beyond the walls of the school; education on conscious consumption and preservation of natural resources; the stimulus for meaningful learning (Albanus, 2008; Carvalho, 2008); the promotion of ties and identity towards the school (Moriconi, 2014), among others. Throughout nineteen months in the field of studies, it can be concluded that action-research as the central methodological axis allowed, approximated, and reinforced both social scientific work and the University-School alliance, thus strengthening the importance of democratic public education from the reality lived, studied, analyzed and shared.

*Interdisciplinary Nucleus for Social Development (NIDES), of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.