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Lonnie Rowell
Committed to creative solutions in education
Committed to creative solutions in education

Lonnie Rowell's posts

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Congratulations to Fremont, CA collaborative action research team led by counseling-intern Daniela Azuela! This group received the first Rowell Collaborative Action Research Grant (2016-2017) and successfully completed a project examining providing support for high school students in the transition to community college. Well done! Daniela also chose to post the Social Publishers Foundation first bi-lingual project report. See link below for English and Spanish versions of the project.

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Description of one of the June 12 pre-conference workshops in Cartagena:

Participatory Research Methods for Building Peace

This workshop will help participants explore approaches to participatory research methods for community-based peacebuilding processes. In 2012, the Peaceful Process of Reconciliation and Integration of the Alta Montaña of El Carmen de Bolívar, Colombia (located outside of Cartagena in Montes de María) formed in an effort to respond to past and continued violence through a community-based reconciliation process. Working across lines of enmity that emerged as a result of decades of armed conflict in the region, the leaders of the Alta Montaña articulated the movement as a movement of reconciliation with two primary, and related, objectives. First, to reunite and reconcile rural communities divided as a result of the armed conflict, restoring a sense of shared identity. Second, to demand collective reparations from the Colombian state as a result of the harm caused by the war. One year later, the Alta Montaña led over 1,000 campesinos in a weeklong nonviolent march that resulted in a signed agreement with the government, initiating the largest collective reparations processes in the country.

As a result of the visibility of the nonviolent social movement nationally and internationally, the communities have had a variety of experience with researchers focused on peacebuilding, war, and social movements. Similarly, these communities are frequently asked to engage – with varying levels of participation – in consultations with state agencies as well as private foundations. While these consultations are framed as “participatory,” they often result in extractive practices. How can participatory action research be used to empower and strengthen community processes in ways that increase community awareness about the importance of – and different ways to engage in – democratic participation? Drawing on lessons from various engagements with research practices in the Alta Montaña, this session will explore the significance of historical memory in community-based peacebuilding efforts, the inclusion and participation of youth in participatory research methods, and the practical considerations for constructing participatory action research that contributes to ongoing, community-based peacebuilding efforts that increase democratic participation and empowerment within community processes. Specifically, local documenters from the Alta Montaña will share the lessons that have emerged from a 3-year, locally-driven process of historical memory that they have conducted in collaboration with the National Center for Historical Memory as part of the 91 accords that the communities signed with the government following the march in 2013.

The facilitators come from various walks of life and represent diverse roles in the process: local documenters from the historical memory process, community leaders of the Peaceful Process of Reconciliation and Integration, youth leaders from the Youth Peace Provokers – the youth wing of the movement, a long-term accompaniment worker, and a PhD student currently engaged in dissertation fieldwork. The session will explore the contributions, challenges, and the possibilities of participatory action research for contributing to and building on ongoing processes of community peacebuilding, democratic participation, and reconciliation. The session will also include attention to the practical considerations of participatory action research, with particular attention given to the inclusion of youth in such processes.

The session will be bilingual Spanish/English with translation support.

Contact: Angela Lederach (

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Teacher-researchers examine effects of classroom media use on student engagement

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Our thanks to faculty and students at BGU for their interest and enthusiasm in this initiative. The old addage by Chinese philosopher Lao-tzu that "the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" comes to mind, for sure. 

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Many thanks to Lesley Wood for this summary of one of the many participatory workshops being held in various parts of the world in preparation for the 1st Global Assembly for Knowledge Democracy, which will take place June 16 in Cartagena, Colombia.

Don’t miss out! Your organization, business, or institution can still be added as a sponsor of the 1st Global Assembly for Knowledge Democracy! Now is the time to sign up. This unique global event brings together action researchers, participatory action researchers, and others interested in creating an alternative globalization space. Contact Global Assembly Co-Chair Lonnie Rowell at to become a sponsor. More information available here,, and here,

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Newest published project from Social Publishers Foundation (SPF). A practitioner-researcher in Nottingham, England examined effects of early language development interventions for 2 and 3-year old’s. Congratulations to Ms. Ella Tuxford of Mapperley Primary School.

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