Change at Big School and Little School: Institutionalization and Contestation in Participatory Action Research

Sep. 30, 2009

Source: Educational Action Research, Volume 17, Issue 3 September 2009, pages 391 – 405.

Participatory action research (PAR) assumes a dialectic model of change where the tension between institutionalization and contestation practices leads to change in schools.

This view openly contradicts the three dominating views of institutionalization in the educational change literature. Over the past 11 years, research has been conducted to obtain empirical evidence to support or reject this view held by PAR, studying the institutionalization of change when action research groups of practitioners work in schools over three-year periods.

Findings of two studies in schools of different structural characteristics partially support the view of change held by PAR. However, these findings argue that size has an effect on how the tension among social practices plays out.

Updated: Dec. 08, 2009