Using participatory research with student teachers in a South African English Education lecture-room: methodological implications

  • Ansurie Pillay UKZN


This article focusses on the methodological implications of using participatory action
research (PAR) in an English Education lecture-room at a South African university. It
argues that research with, by and for student teachers may engender their empowerment and
transformation. Using a system of interventions with literary texts as catalysts, the student
teachers worked towards becoming agents of change in their future classrooms. Over a twoyear
period, the student teachers and researcher worked collaboratively on the study that
was framed by critical pedagogy. Information was collected using interviews, focus groups,
student evaluations, drawings and written work and the data was analysed qualitatively. The
study found that using PAR teaches student teachers important research skills that they may
take into their classrooms. Further, the use of active dialogue and collaboration in a
supportive environment facilitates PAR progressing successfully. Finally, critical reflexivity
in PAR enables the process of change agency.