Patricia Maguire
Patricia Maguire

Feminist Participatory Research

Educational and Teacher Action Research
Feminism was like a dry cloth on a foggy lens. (Maguire, 1987)

Welcome. The purpose of this website is to share a slice of my life’s work related to feminist participatory action research, educational and teacher action research, and teaching. I hope this will encourage your own efforts. As much memoir as repository, this is a history of my journey. A personal story or backstory contextualizes some of my publications, presentations, and teaching resources. This website is also a nod to knowledge democracy by open access sharing of most materials.

Since publishing the groundbreaking book, Doing participatory research: a feminist approach (1987), I’ve worked with others across the world – accomplices in today’s terms – to create space for multiple, intersectional feminist perspectives within participatory action research. With colleagues and students, I tried to build a sustainable university space to support feminist-informed teacher action research. Now, in this digital space, I hope to keep the conversation moving forward. Feminisms is essential to potentially transformative and emancipatory participatory action research. Let’s explore what feminisms — our diverse communities, theories, practices, research, and activism — brings to participatory and action research.

This site is for anyone curious about participatory action research (PAR) and teacher action research. PAR, an alternative approach to traditional social science research, intentionally combines research, education, and action for meaningful change and the further development of critical consciousness. Because knowledge is socially constructed, PAR asks us to pay attention to the power dynamics of research and action. This is the politics of knowledge creation. Who has the power to frame and ask research questions? Whose questions get asked? What counts as evidence? Whose voices are heard? Who benefits from the results? Indeed, who even gets to know the results? How does new knowledge drive new action, and then new questions? Feminist participatory research pushes us further. How is our research — our processes and products — gendered, racialised, and classed? How do our intersectional, multiple identities and positionalities inform our work and our lives?

I hope my site inspires other action researchers to digitally codify and openly share your journey. We all have stories to tell. Thank you to the Center for International Education for highlighting my site as one possible model for sharing your professional journey. See Patricia Maguire: Sharing the History of My Professional Journey.

Participatory action research is built upon theories and values of equity, justice, democracy, and humanizing relationships. PAR pushes us to continuously re-clarify our own values and beliefs — and how these inform our work and relationships. The materials here reflect my journey into PAR and teacher action research, revealing my imperfections, struggles, and joys. As you will see, I didn’t make the journey alone; no one should. I hope these mostly open-access materials are useful for your journey. The site is a work-in-progress. Dive in.