As collaborative and boundary-crossing forms of research, inter- and transdisciplinarity hold great potential to reframe and rename phenomena or problems that cannot be fully understood within individual perspectives. Nevertheless, a common problem within heterogeneous teams is creating mutual understanding of different concepts, perspectives and bodies of knowledge. Tis is particularly the case when tackling highly normative subjects, as is the case within sustainability sciences. In this contribution, we analyse the principles and practices behind Paulo Freire’s approach to literacy and explore their potential to develop integrative methods for conceptual work in inter- and transdisciplinary research. We identify three principles in his epistemology (words as generative, knowledge as dialogue and naming as political) and discuss how they address not just technical, but relational and political dimensions of conceptual work. We use the example of creating a joint glossary to illustrate how the principles can be operationalised.
Knowledge integration, mutual understanding, dialogue, sustainability, normativity
This contribution gives insights into methodological procedures and epistemological results from a transdisciplinary research process with the peasants’ organisation OCEZ-CNPA Chiapas in South Mexico. Its methodology was based on Paulo Freire’s Popular Education (PE) and its related methodologies, Systematisation of Experiences (SoE) and Participatory Action Research (PAR). The central endeavour of the research was the collective reflection on peasants’ agroecological learning experiences and, through a feedback loop, on the same praxis. The reflective practice consisted of action, research and training and thus, generated actionable, epistemological and methodological knowledge. these three interconnected dimensions of knowledge nourished the pedagogical and political praxis of the peasants’ organisation, as well as the practice and theory of transdisciplinary and participatory research in the context of agroecology.
Popular education, participatory action research, Systematisation of Experiences (SoE), agroecology, peasants’ research
Thee article presents Generative Picturing as a methodological framework for transformative research. Generative Picturing integrates different elements of qualitative methodology with the visual medium of photography in a recursive and participatory process. Exemplifying the application of Generative Picturing in the context of the author’s research with a class of fourth grade lower secondary school students in Vienna, the article offers a practical frame and identifies lessons to be learned.
Generative Picturing, methodological framework, transformative research, participatory research with children/young people, lessons learned
Based on Freire´s principles of transformation, the author conducted a theatre Action Research project with girls* using methods of theatre of the Oppressed as a main tool to collect data. Throughout the article,
the author connects the necessity of rethinking power structures in academia with the importance of using body knowledge in feminist and transformative research and introduces concrete methods and experiences for the application of such a research.
theatre Action Research, body knowledge, theatre of the Oppressed, feminist research, transformation