I learned about the various steps within Field/Action Research, which was interesting to hear about the different perspectives and approaches coming from various field of studies:
I think throughout the process of action research all steps are important, but field, community, and entry can be one of the most important steps in planning for a successful project. Understanding the community and field can be a very important part of field research because this is where you understand how to interact with the community and environment.
When we talk about field, it pertains to the specific space you are looking at and the field we look at specifically natural capital, which is the physical space. Natural capital is encompasses with four other capitals of sustainability: Human, Social, Physical, and Economic. During this session, they focused on economic development for Lewisburg by connecting the town with the river. They used Sunbury, as a good example of a river town that has been benefiting the town economically. It has been noted that the river is underutilized and not well integrated with the Lewisburg community because the town is actually building away from the river and its back is towards it. Lewisburg has a lot of potential to in using its natural capital to foster economic development. What are some ways Lewisburg can utilize the river in bringing economic development? What are some challenges you see for the Lewisburg community?
Community can be described differently based on the type of work and field of study the individual is involved with. The community aspect is another important step for the field research to be effective because being able to identify a community’s needs and utilizing its resources will provide long-run benefits. It is important to understand the community and the culture it has shaped with the surrounding people because imposing change without considering their needs can cause more resistance then expected. So it is critical when entering a community to perform field research to figure out the needs and wants of both parties to benefit. Also do not act as the expert about their culture, so it is important to know when to say, “I don’t know” and be open to learn from the community.
Featured Image: http://postgrowth.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/action-research-image.png