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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Defining Global Education and Participatory Action Research


InSolidarity believes International Education and Participatory Action Research go hand in hand.  They have shared values and objectives found in their definitions.


International Education

In Global Teacher, Global Learner, “Global Learning” is defined as: affirmative of self and others, participatory, co-operative and experiential.  Global Learning focuses curriculum on:
  • global interdependence
  • critical thinking
  • the nature of prejudice
  • concepts of peace and human rights
Global Learning objectives are knowledge, skill, and attitude based. Instead of emphasis on recollection of content, global learner have changes in their behaviors as well as knowledge. Madeline Uraneck, International Education Consultant to  Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, captures these behaviors.  

Uraneck believes International Education is a “thread woven into the fabric” of an entire curriculum that  teaches about “...the lives and the natural and social contexts of people living in other countries and cultures and actively promotes immersion experiences in other cultures”. pg 21 Supporting Pike and Selby findings that global learning objectives are knowledge, skill and attitude based.  Uraneck identifies possible objectives such as foreign language proficiency (skill), compassion (attitude), understanding of global connections (knowledge). 


In summary International Education is a way of building curriculum that focuses how to live in a global world.  


Participatory Action Research

According to Brown University’s Educational Laboratory, Action Research is research where “participants systematically, carefully, collaboratively examine their own practices using research techniques”. pg 7 They are more invested in the impact of the research and much more open to reflection and cooperation. 

At Durham University, Participatory Action Research (PAR) is “collaborative research, education and action used to gather information to use for change on social or environmental issues.  It involves people who are concerned about or affected by an issue taking a leading role in producing and using knowledge about it”. Pg2


Practicing Freedom Collective defines Participatory Action Research as bringing people together to:
  • Define for themselves what problems they face in their community;
  • Find solutions or steps for addressing the problem through talking with and gathering data from their peers;
  • Implement those solutions through strategic and informed actions. 
PAR differs from “Normal” Research because it inclusive, lead by a team or community of people that experience an issue first hand.  It engages its participants, resulting in dialogue or mobilization in the impacted community.  Lastly, it is honest, naming bias and working to minimize it.


Both International Education and PAR are holistic and believe indicators of education involve demonstrate attitude, skill and knowledge based skills. 

Based on these readings InSolidarity will begin to define I-PAR as an education process that values the whole person.  Seeking proficiency through demonstration of reflection, cooperation, social engagement and honesty.

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