Friday, November 23, 2012

Brandy Brooks and Qualitative Research

My participation in the note taking conference at the Radcliffe Institute took place at almost the same time that I was engaged with my qualitative research class students (07.704 in the Graduate School of Education at UMass Lowell) in our own note taking experiment.  I had asked each of the students in my class to select an article to read from the theoretical/strategies/paradigm sections of Denzin and Lincoln's Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research.  Each were then to create a 1 visual one-pager in which they would communicate their understanding of the article.  They shared these in class as they described the content of the article and its relevance to our discussion of the foundations of qualitative research. 

I found them to be absolutely fascinating.  I think this may be a format that falls between the cracks--is it a note? a precis? an abstract?  a visualization? 

I asked each of them to submit to me with an explanatory paragraph, so I could post here and publish the experiment with a wider audience. 

Here is Brandy Brooks, a UMass Lowell graduate student,  on the Brydon-Miller, et al article on Participatory Action Research from the Handbook.

The one-page diagrammatic review that appears below describes the article “Jazz and the Banyan Tree: Roots and Riff on Participatory Action Research” by Mary Brydon-Miller, Michael Kral, Patricia Maguire, Susan Noffke, and Anu Sabhlok.  In short, the article uses the metaphors of jazz and the banyan tree to define and explore the historical, theoretical and methodological foundations of Participatory Action Research (PAR). To that end the one page diagrammatic review begins with the heading Participatory Action Research (PAR) and the three elements which define PAR based research.  Underneath the heading to the left is an image of a saxophonist and bassist playing jazz underneath the shade of a banyan tree.  The banyan tree much like PAR is organic and can occur anywhere in the world, even in the middle of the street in the middle of a bustling city.  Beneath the banyan tree lies the theory and methodology text box which provides the blueprint for participatory action.   Underneath the Participatory Action Research (PAR) heading to the right, the three research applications of PAR are superimposed on layers of soil the narratives to emphasize that PAR can be shallow or subterranean.  Lastly, the article and diagrammatic review ends with concluding comments on how even well intentioned metaphors need to be continually reexamined and updated to reflect current and future paradigms and pedagogical practice of PAR.           

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