“Reflecting back on what we have been introduced to throughout the term, the most important aspect that stands out for me is this idea of creating and diffusing new knowledge. The people that came to the class sharing their research experience with us demonstrated this point...”
“There seems to be a need for flexibility with this new knowledge and the manner in which it is disseminated outwards to share with other people -- essentially allowing for the knowledge to be reshaped, if only temporarily, or forever”.
“This paper and my “knowing in new ways” art project are my attempt to reflect on and discover the different ways I know and why valuing all ways of knowing is central to PAR. The crossover between my written and art-based expression is the foam created by the merging rivers of my rational and metaphoric capabilities”.
“In light of my background and interests, I have anchored my process in navigating why I value nature and how to express that value. My intent is to uncover what human capabilities beyond our rational minds can facilitate such an expression”.
“When words and rational procedures fail we need to allow ourselves to work in new ways, based on our other capabilities. Doing so can expose hidden understandings and motivations, empowering us in unexpected ways. This has certainly been my experience”.
“This process of learning to play my 6-string guitar has been both exciting and nerve racking. For weeks I have imagined in my head what I would do, what colours and images could express the thoughts and feelings I want to share. In the end what I needed to do emerged from the materials in front of me as I allowed myself to openly play a new song on my 6-string guitar”.
“This is a core characteristic of both social work and participatory action research, the ability to be in it for the long haul, that we must be committed and invested both professionally and personally for transformation to take place”.
"It takes a unique and devoted person to undertake this type of work and ensure that some form of action defined by those we work with is pursued and that the momentum for change does not become lost."
“Personal activism is situated in the context of a person’s life, it is integrated in to who they are, their value system and what they do. Only a story can begin to capture the dynamism and richness of personal activism”.
“I am beginning to realize that 2 PAR projects are unfolding simultaneously. Not only am I experiencing the nature of PAR as part of a collective, but I am experiencing the process individually. After each class, I go away, reflect, read, reflect, and come back to the group with a renewed sense of self learning. My own desire is to sort through the difficult questions with my peers; to engage in respectful dialogue and debate”.
“I am able to identify a clearer rhythm of action and reflection, at least at an individual level. The rhythm is not as clear in the collective sense. I am beginning to experience the levels of movement—praxis—intellectual, emotional, (definitely the emotional as of late), but not yet the practical, or maybe I am unable to identify it at this time”.
“Is our PAR class emancipatory? I believe that it is in both content and process. The class is also liberatory in that it breaks free from convention. The circle, the fluidity of the boundaries for learning, and the integration of praxis all contribute to this experience”.
“The food was a welcomed surprise and added to the overall experience. By eating together, the opportunity to mingle and share in this activity contributed to getting to know others. The space and the group became communal. For me, eating together is an intimate experience in that it is a form of nurturance. Sharing food parallels the giving of a gift and is much like an offering. We will take turns in feeding each through the semester”.
“What makes a class like this so unique is that we learn so much in post secondary but we rarely get a chance to actually feel what we have learned. It has been a while since I have been able to hear other people speak and connect with their words so deeply”.
“The class, our context and reality, is allowing us an opportunity to co-create how and what we know. Reason and Bradbury (2006) write that there are many ways of knowing but that they begin “from a relationship between self and other, through participation and intuition” (9).
“Action Fire – In my religion, fire is highly symbolic. The smoke from a fire rises in the air, taking the energy surrounding the fire with it. The smoke spreads that energy all around to the community and into the heavens.”
“The Sikh Khanda - The right sword is called Miri which represents political sovereignty and the left side is called Piri which represents spiritual sovereignty. The double-edged sword symbolizes the disintegration of false pride and vanity and also the demolition of the barriers of caste and other inequalities. The circle symbolizes the Divine Manifestation, including everything and wanting nothing, without beginning or end, neither first nor last, timeless, Absolute. The circle encourages the Sikhs to make the whole creation as the object of their compassion and activities because it signifies oneness, unity, justice, humanity and morality.”
“The Namdhari Khanda - Representing a new era, where we would not need to use our swords, the swords are removed from the Khanda, promoting peace, with Ek Om Kar (God is one) at the top of the circle of foliage.”