Using Participatory Action Research to Create Systematic Parent Engagement
Despite ample research supporting the value of strong family, school, and community partnerships, few districts or communities have been able to support and sustain systematic parent engagement. This article focuses on the efforts undertaken by a research team in Saskatoon, Canada to develop a model that empowers parents to systematically engage with educators and schools in order to enhance educational and social outcomes for children and parents. Central to this effort has been the use of participatory action research (PAR) as a means to honor and engage the experiences of diverse community members. This article highlights specific PAR methods that supported the development of a more systematic approach to parent engagement. The experiences described demonstrate how the improvisatory and responsive nature of the PAR approach help to both build trust and create more sustainable changes in communities.
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