Power-sharing partnerships : teachers’ experiences of participatory methodology

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dc.contributor.advisor Ebersohn, L. (Liesel) en
dc.contributor.advisor Ferreira, Ronel en
dc.contributor.postgraduate Mbongwe, Bathsheba Basathu en
dc.date.accessioned 2013-09-06T16:43:10Z
dc.date.available 2013-04-26 en
dc.date.available 2013-09-06T16:43:10Z
dc.date.created 2013-04-16 en
dc.date.issued 2013-04-26 en
dc.date.submitted 2013-04-24 en
dc.description Thesis (PhD)--University of Pretoria, 2013. en
dc.description.abstract I investigated the experiences of teachers as co-researchers in a long-term partnership with university researchers in an asset-based intervention project known as STAR1. The goal of STAR is to investigate how teachers can promote resilience in scare-resource and high need schools. To inform participatory research methodology, I explored and described how coresearchers (teachers) experience power relations. I conducted the participatory reflection and action (PRA) study by using feminist standpoint theory as guiding epistemological paradigm, Gaventa’s power cube as theoretical framework and participatory research as methodological paradigm. I conveniently chose two cohorts (schools) in the STAR project to partner as the unit of analysis. I thus applied convenience sampling to select information-rich cohorts. The schoolcohorts included a primary school in the Eastern Cape Province and a secondary school in a remote area in the Mpumalanga Province. I then purposefully selected participating coresearchers (n=15: 14 females, 1 male) from the participating schools. Over a two year period, I employed multiple PRA data generation techniques (observation, four focus groups and two semi-structured interviews) and documentation procedures (field notes, research journal, visual data and verbatim transcriptions). I used thematic analysis and categorical aggregation for data analysis, with three themes emerging. In terms of the nature of power in participatory partnerships, co-researchers expressed factors which influenced power and partnership in a participatory project. For co-researchers, these factors enabled them to experience a sense of power-sharing. Regarding the role of agency in relation to power and partnerships, co-researchers indicated that agency resulted from power-sharing and partnerships they had established. The agency meant that they took action through leadership to empower others in school-communities. Co-researchers’ meaning-making of power and partnerships culminated in their construction of power in a participatory project as both a way in which their working environment enabled them to do what they wanted to do, and also as a personal space where they felt capable and had initiative to coordinate project activities. Findings of this study correlate with existing literature where (i) power is seen as the ability of actors to express and act on desires, (ii) power can be redistributed as action for inclusive benefits, (iii) partnerships imply balancing time, and (iv) partnerships evolve over time, are dynamic and involve issues of trust and confidence. In contrast to existing knowledge on power in participatory research, I found that teachers did not view power as dominance or as exclusively owned. I developed a framework of power sharing partnerships to extend Gaventa’s power cube theory. This framework, and its five interrelated elements (leadership as power, identifying vision and mission, synergy, interdependent role of partners, and determination), provide insight into the way co-researchers shared their experiences of participatory research methodology. I posit an evidence-based conceptualisation of power as leadership where community partners play influential roles as co-researchers. I theorise power sharing partnerships as a complimentary platform hosting partners’ shared strengths, skills and experience, creating synergy in collaborative projects. I argue that synergy in power sharing partnerships relies on recognition, appreciation and mutual respect inherent in interdependent roles of partners. Furthermore, the power sharing partnership framework explains how power and partnership depends on determination amongst partners which manifests as agency to drive social change. en
dc.description.availability unrestricted en
dc.description.department Educational Psychology en
dc.identifier.citation Mbongwe, B 2012, Power-sharing partnerships : teachers’ experiences of participatory methodology, PhD thesis, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://hdl.handle.net/2263/24127 > en
dc.identifier.other D13/4/397/ag en
dc.identifier.upetdurl http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-04242013-142741/ en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2263/24127
dc.language.iso en
dc.publisher University of Pretoria en_ZA
dc.rights © 2012 University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria. en
dc.subject Participatory reflection and action (pra) en
dc.subject Participatory rural appraisal en
dc.subject Co-researchers en
dc.subject Feminist standpoint en
dc.subject Collaborative research en
dc.subject Community capacity building en
dc.subject Power relations en
dc.subject Power en
dc.subject Participatory research en
dc.subject Partnership en
dc.subject Change agents en
dc.subject UCTD en_US
dc.title Power-sharing partnerships : teachers’ experiences of participatory methodology en
dc.type Thesis en


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