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South African Journal of Education

On-line version ISSN 2076-3433
Print version ISSN 0256-0100

S. Afr. j. educ. vol.32 n.4 Pretoria Jan. 2012


Call for Papers: Special Issue of South African Journal of Education Volume 33(4), November 2013



Participatory Methodologies and Educational Research

Guest Editor: Ronél Ferreira

Current challenges faced by individuals, families and communities increasingly require communities to seek amongst themselves for solutions to problems and support to overcome adverse circumstances. Schools, faith-based organisations, community institutions, health centres and other community-based facilities typically take the lead in finding solutions to the problems communities face. This tendency in turn requires that research findings be applied to practical problems and facilitate social transformation. As such, this asks for participatory research, where community members, or stakeholders in communities, collaborate with researchers in addressing needs and enhancing resilience and well-being in societies. This idea is emphasised by Currie, Kinga, Rosenbaumb, Lawb, Kertoyc and Spechtd (2005), who state that researcher-community partnerships should generate knowledge that informs communities and results in improved service delivery, better interventions and community development. The question that inevitably comes to mind is which role educational researchers should fulfill in facilitating such processes of social change. In South Africa, specifically, schools are viewed as nodes of care and support, where children can receive much needed assistance and support - in terms of material support, as well as emotional, social and spiritual guidance. Teachers and school principals are typically valued as key figures in communities, who potentially possess the power to make a difference in people's lives. In addition, by involving other community leaders such as health workers, faith-based leaders, and other community officials, a focus can be placed on capacity building and community leadership development. Participatory methodologies create a pathway for such partnerships that can address social challenges by empowering communities while building on existing knowledge. By becoming partners in knowledge generation and sharing, researchers and community members become part of a community of practice, which can bring about social change based on co-learning and capacity building in the group (Dalal, Skeete, Yeo, Lucas & Rosenthal, 2002). This call for papers aims to initiate a debate on the manner in which participatory methodologies can contribute to knowledge generation in the field of education, not only in terms of the role that teachers may fulfil in community development, but extending to the manner in which other community partners may take on power in addressing challenges and facilitating social change.

Currie M, Kinga G, Rosenbaumb P, Lawb M, Kertoyc M & Spechtd J 2005. A model of impacts of research partnerships in health and social services. Evaluation and Program Planning, 28:400-412.

Dalal M, Skeete R, Yeo HL, Lucas GI & Rosenthal MS 2002. A physician teams' experiences in community based participatory research: Insights into effective group collaborations. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 37:288-291.

Completed manuscripts should be e-mailed for review to

Closing date for submissions: 30 April 2013

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