Participatory Action Research as Pedagogy: Boundaries in Syracuse

  • Alison Mountz Department of Geography, Syracuse University
  • Eli B. Moore Department of Geography, Syracuse University
  • Lori Brown School of Architecture, Syracuse University
Keywords: critical pedagogy, urban universities, boundaries


This paper explores the potential of participatory action research (PAR) as 21 pedagogy in urban university classrooms. We address models and ideals of service 22 learning, participatory action research, and critical pedagogy. We then explain the 23 design, implementation, and outcomes of a recent class co-taught in the departments of geography, women’s studies, and architecture at Syracuse 1 University called ‘Boundaries in Syracuse’. The class was organized conceptually 2 and practically around the objective of documenting the boundaries at work in the 3 daily lives of city residents. We find that principles of critical pedagogy 4 substantiate the basis of participatory action research as an approach that addresses 5 some of the shortcomings of service learning. We reflect on the class to assess the 6 opportunities that accompany PAR in the urban classroom as well as the 7 challenges, including (among others) the resources required and the gendering of 8 community-engaged work at universities.
How to Cite
Mountz, Alison, Eli Moore, and Lori Brown. 1. “Participatory Action Research As Pedagogy: Boundaries in Syracuse”. ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies 7 (2), 214-38.