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Episode 15 -Democratising Knowledge Production in Action Research with Dr. Lonnie Rowell
Episode 155th March 2021 • The Action Research Podcast • Adam Stieglitz
00:00:00 00:42:03

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In this episode, Adam and Joe have a conversation with Dr. Lonnie Rowell, who is one of the founding figures of the Action Research movement. He is a co-founder and president of the Social Publishers Foundation (, and a retired professor at the University of San Diego, School of Leadership and Education Sciences. He is also a co-founder and lead organizer in establishing the Action Research Network of the Americas (ARNA).

Starting with the lightning round, Joe and Adam ask Lonnie simple yet deep questions to explore the “what”, “who” and “how” of Action Research (2:23). To dig deeper into some of these concepts, Joe asks about the differences between the many of action research paradigms (7:34) to which Lonnie responds by discussing the tension between academic-based action research and community-based work, and how we situate knowledge democratization and knowledge production in these tensions.

Later in the episode, Adam raises a significant question about how we acknowledge the tension between urban migration and communities disappearing- “…I have been seeing over the years that these communities are starting to disappear, and why is that? It's because of urban migration and it's because in the education system there's a message being shared that there is no value in being a farmer…they're not teaching Quechua; they're learning in Spanish and English…. And you're seeing these communities disappear.” (26:18) Adam’s question brings us back to knowledge democratisation and the question of “who” is the holder of knowledge. The conversation does not end here. Tune in to know how our trio weaves their discussion to address this issue!


Check out the Social Publishers Foundation:

And the Action Research Network of the Americas:


Rowell, L. & Call-Cummings, M. (2020). Knowledge Democracy, Action Research, the Internet and the Epistemic Crisis. Journal of Futures Studies, 24(4).

Hong, E., & Rowell, L. (2019). Challenging knowledge monopoly in education in the U.S. through democratizing knowledge production and dissemination. Educational Action Research, 27(1), 125–143.

Rowell, L. (2018). A brief update from across the big pond’s troubled waters: Beliefs, science, politics, and action research. Educational Action Research, 26(1), 4–8.

Beck, C. (2017). Informal action research: The nature and contribution of everyday classroom inquiry. In the Palgrave international handbook of action research (pp. 37-48). Palgrave Macmillan, New York. 

Boyer, E. L. (1996). The scholarship of engagement. Bulletin of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 49(7), 18-33. 

Del Pino, M., & Ferrada, D. (2019). Construction of educational knowledge with the Mapuche community through dialogical-kishu kimkelay ta che research. Educational Action Research, 27(3), 414-434. 

Freire, P. (2018). Pedagogy of the oppressed. Bloomsbury publishing USA. 

Horton, M., & Freire, P. (1990). We make the road by walking: Conversations on education and social change. Temple University Press. 

Neill, A. S. (1960). Summerhill: A radical approach to child rearing. 

Pine, G. J. (2008). Teacher action research: Building knowledge democracies. Sage. 

Rappaport, J. (2020). Cowards Don't Make History: Orlando Fals Borda and the Origins of Participatory Action Research. Duke University Press. 

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