Starting with ourselves in deepening our understanding of generativity in participatory educational research

  • L van Laren
  • R Mudaly
  • K Pithouse-Morgan
  • S Singh
Keywords: enerativity, HIV&AIDS, participatory research, reflexivity, storyboarding, university educators, visual methods


Participatory educational research is generally characterised by a commitment to making a difference in the lives of those who participate in the research and more broadly, to promoting social transformation. This suggests a  potentially fruitful synergy between participatory educational research and the multidisciplinary body of academic work on generativity as a human capacity that has at its core a desire to contribute to the well-being of others. As a research team of teacher educators from diverse disciplinary backgrounds, we seek to add an alternative dimension to current debates on participatory educational research by focusing on understanding the ‘how’ and ‘what’ of generativity in a participatory research process. The research question we address is: How does/can engagement in participatory educational research facilitate generativity? While participatory research literature often concentrates on collaboration between researchers and ‘researched’ communities, we are taking a reflexive stance by exploring our own participation in our dual roles as university community members and as researchers studying our colleagues’ experiences in relation to integration of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) & Acquired  Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS)-related issues in university curricula. We describe how our use of the visual method of storyboarding facilitated insight into generativity in participatory educational research. Building on an earlier concept of generativity, we identify and discuss significant generative features of participation, playfulness, passion, and perspicacity in our research process.

Keywords: generativity; HIV&AIDS; participatory research; reflexivity; storyboarding; university educators; visual methods


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2076-3433
print ISSN: 0256-0100