Community-based Educational Research:
Our research focuses not only on generating theoretical knowledge about the issue, but also on bringing about change on personal, institutional and community levels.
As such, we can call it research as social change as the process has educational, political and emancipatory intent.
An example of the type of research we do follows. One of our researchers established that the children from her school, in a rural area, were staying away from school because of the unsafe and unhealthy infrastructure and negative social climate. As teacher, she facilitated a research process where a group of learners identified the problem areas in the school that they wished to improve (broken toilets, litter, lack of emotional and practical support, lack of sport opportunities) and came up with strategies to address these problems. The pupils presented their findings to the School Governing body and as a result, they took action to improve the infrastructure, establish a learner support committee and change school policy with regard to after school activities. In COMBER, we believe that community can bring about change – our role is to facilitate and research the process of their learning and development.