Participatory Action Research (PAR) is a partnership approach to research involving academic researchers and community actors with the aim of gaining a more grounded understanding of a given phenomenon through shared, collaborative decision-making that positions community members as researchers rather than research subjects. CCWT conducts qualitative PAR projects with UW-Madison undergraduate students that focus on central issues in higher education. Because these issues directly impact students’ lives, their perspectives as researchers are particularly valuable.
The high costs of higher education and its benefits to students and to society are central issues in the legislative and public debate on the role of higher education in the state. Yet too often debates about higher education, and its ultimate purpose for students and the public, do not include the perspectives and experiences of community members from different walks of life.
In order to enrich and inform this debate, CCWT worked with a team of UW students to conduct interviews with Wisconsin residents to document and identify their views on the aims of higher education and subsequent implications for public policy. Documenting the Aims of Higher Education Report