Reinventing Schools In the Company of Friends

EastTimor_Parent Wkshop

By: Ernie Stringer

Action research seeks to explore dimensions of human experience usually neglected in the search for “objective” knowledge. In my work I describe research processes that engage people’s energy and enthusiasm, enabling them to work together with high degrees of involvement and ownership. Action research, for me, is not merely a technical process, but “a search for understanding in the company of friends.”

The image here is from a project in East Timor, showing the intensity of engagement evident in the faces and body language of participants, during their planning processes. This and many other events emerged from an original research question “How can we help the education of our children?” All of these projects served to highlight the resources and skills of the people, and the pride that was evident in the eyes of the children as they saw their fathers, mothers, nanas and aunties at work. Read more at

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