Volume 31, Issue 1 (2002)
Application of Participatory Action Research to Family-School Intervention
Bonnie S. Ho
Abstract. Participatory action research is a process in which researchers operate as full collaborators with members of an organization (stakeholders) in linking theory and research to acceptable and effective practice. Schools are being charged to use this approach to address the challenges of developing system-level interventions for many of their current problematic areas, such as family-school partnerships with economically disadvantaged and culturally and linguistically diverse families.Participatory action research is a means for school psychologists, as participatory researchers, to provide leadership for collaborative research within schools for the development of system-level interventions. A case study is described in which a school psychologist served as the participatory researcher in an action research process for the development of a family-school partnership program in a Chapter I, ethnically and linguistically diverse elementary school. The outcomes indicated that the participatory action research process resulted in the design and implementation of a research-based family-school partnership program that was culturally specific, was acceptable to stakeholders (parents and teachers), and had the potential for sustainability. Participatory action research is a viable means for school psychologists to provide leadership in developing research-based, effective and acceptable system-level interventions in their schools.
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