Article Type

Case Studies & Applied Research


Community educators have long known the value of direct experience in the learning process. Participatory action research extends this philosophy to the realm of research. This article examines the value of involving front line camp staff, members of the camp community in Appalachia as practitioner researchers with university scientists in studying the type and conditions of transformative learning in young adult camp staff. A young adult who was a camp community member assisted the researchers with methodology, data analysis, data interpretation, and dissemination of findings. This resulted in a more accurate, richer, and thicker description of the camp community member’s transformative learning experience. The benefits of involving practitioner researchers are examined, as well as promising practices for conducting participatory action research in community education environments.