Knowledge Democracy and Educational Action Research – Professor Lonnie Rowell

22nd Oct 2018, 4:00pm - 6:00pm

Faculty of Education

Knowledge Democracy and Educational Action Research: Beliefs, Science, Politics and Resistance in Knowledge Production

Professor Lonnie Rowell, a co-founder and lead organiser in establishing the Action Research Network of the Americas (ARNA) and lead editor of the Palgrave International Handbook of Action Research, will speak on knowledge democracy and educational action research in our troubled times. His lecture will address critical issues in action research and participatory action research as they are taking shape within the current crisis of neo-liberalism and the growing authoritarian challenges of Trumpism (and other global authoritarian figures) to democratic society.

Professor Rowell will discuss the state of the global educational action research community in the context of a stacked-deck system of official educational research that has gone all in on an orientation towards knowledge production which contributes to undermining both the professional judgment of educators and the necessary frames of reference for understanding education in a democratic society. He will describe the necessity of the educational action research community serving as a force of opposition to this orientation, with particular emphasis on the importance of building knowledge democracies as a strategic initiative for alternative knowledge mobilisation.

Knowledge democracy is a concept that has grown out of transformations in the politics of knowledge production. The concept is rooted in resistance to the monopolisation of expert knowledge producers in relation to global north-south splits in the politics of development from the mid-20th century up to our time. The democratisation of knowledge production and the expansion of challenges to all forms of elitist domination have been joined at the hip for at least the last 50 years, fueled by a recognition of the transformative power of knowledge democratisation. Professor Rowell’s recent work has explored public education and educational research in the U.S. in relation to knowledge monopoly as well as the prospects of knowledge democracy as a pathway towards breaking through the barriers imposed by this monopoly.


  • 4.00pm – Registration and Refreshment
  • 4.30pm – Welcome, Introductions and Event Start
  • 6.00pm – Refreshments and Networking

This event will celebrate the publication of The Palgrave International Handbook for Action Research, and the ongoing work in relation to global challenges in knowledge production and mobilisation.

Further information is available here

Everyone is welcome to this event and it would be of particular interest to those working on community-based or activist research projects.

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