About the Journal
The Journal of Transformative Praxis (JrTP) is hosted and published continuously as a collaborative venture among Tribhuvan University (TU), Kathmandu University (KU), and the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU), under the NORHED-financed Rupantaran project. This journal is a scholarly forum where scholars critically and reflexively engage on multi-epistemological approaches as a participatory (and practitioner) metaphor of action, reflection, and transformation. In particular, the journal aims to address the nexus between education, health, and livelihoods in society, appreciating, especially the immediate contexts of inquiry and emphasizing progress through recognition of the primacy of local settings in Asian and other similar contexts.
Social-progress frameworks such as the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) emphasize quality education, gender equality, healthy lives, and peaceful and inclusive society. More socially driven research on education provides a foundation for achieving social goals as mentioned above. Furthermore, the health of individuals and their surroundings (human landscapes) ultimately affect both their livelihoods and their education and knowledge production. Therefore, there is seemingly a close association of health and livelihoods in education. Acknowledging such interconnectedness, this journal focuses on transformative praxis of individuals to bring change in education, health and livelihoods, particularly informed through one’s first-hand, especially lived and embodied (bodily) experiences.
In recent years, particularly within the public health and education sectors, there has been a burgeoning growth of interest in the use of practitioner-research approaches (e.g., participatory action research, self-study, auto/ethnography, etc.) that aim at substantial revision of existing ways of observing a phenomenon and acting and reflecting on it. Research projects using these approaches are framed as action research, collaborative participation, reflective action, and transformative learning. They are considered to be promising for advancing understandings pertaining to critical social sciences, particularly in the education and public health domains.
Present-day academics have in one way or another experienced battles between positivist and non-positivist research methods, most of them ascribing greater importance and/or to legitimizing one side against the other, leaving less room for discourses on mixed-and multi- paradigmatic practices that seek to bring together different approaches, including action, reflection, and transformation. JrTP encourages broader application of varieties and critical-creative variations of positivist, non-positivist, mixed, and multiparadigmatic (including multi-methods and methodologies), as appropriate.
It is now widely acknowledged that the beliefs and experiences on which these approaches are based are not a homogenous field; therefore, the epistemological, psychological, pedagogical, and political dimensions of these approaches should be brought into discussion and critical awareness-raising. To this end, aimed at advancing practitioner-research methods and approaches, this journal seeks to provide a platform that brings together action-informed experiences from both the Global North and Global South. The journal envisions facilitating pragmatic discussions related to dialogical and dialectical interplay that is inherently involved when applying diverse approaches.
Practitioner research often stems from an individual’s (or practice community’s) systematic reflection on their own practice (action) in order to improve it. The participatory element of action research draws the researcher and the community where research is conducted together in partnership, or quest, to create sustainable change on an issue of interest to both parties. The imperative for such change through investments in socially transformative action affords methodological and perspectival structures that fundamentally address research circumstances.
Further, when practicing researchers call into question their taken-for-granted assumptions and frames of reference, thereby generating more empowering beliefs and informed actions, praxis-induced transformative learning experiences can take place. When exposed to transformative learning experiences, habits of mind are shaken, questioned, or rejected, creating space for more informed actions. Thus, in social research, the use of (participatory) action research, reflective practice, and transformative learning seek to complement one another, where transformative praxis constitutes their meeting point.
With the above points in mind, JrTP encourages scholars to advance transformative praxis by bringing action and reflection together. The journal seeks to promote reflective practitioners who can help the larger academic community realize the need for using research as a means for affecting informed change and moving outside of comfort zones of individual researchers and their departments/disciplines.
Such transformative praxis through practitioner-research approaches, however, is not free from the manifold dilemmas arising from multidisciplinary or transdisciplinary methodological challenges, relationality, ethics of voices, paradoxes of opening communicative space, and etic-emic perspectives, to name but a few. Through reflective dialogues on these epistemic prospects and challenges as experienced in practitioner research and reflective practices, which we put forward together as transformative praxis, this journal aims to create a wide forum for academic discussions in the areas of education, health, and livelihoods.