About the Journal
The Journal of Transformative Praxis (JrTP) is hosted and published quarterly through 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 that critically and reflexively engages with multi-epistemological approaches as a participatory (and practitioner) metaphor of action research, reflective praxis, and transformative learning experiences. In particular, the journal aims to address the nexus between education, health, and livelihoods, which appreciates the immediate contexts of inquiry and emphasizes progress through recognizing the primacy of local settings in Asian and other similar contexts.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) emphasize quality education, gender equality, healthy lives, and peaceful and inclusive society. Research on education provides a foundation for achieving these sustainable development goals. Furthermore, the health of individuals and their surroundings (human landscapes) ultimately affect 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 (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 the substantial revision of existing ways of observing a phenomenon and acting and reflecting on it. The approaches may be framed as action research, collaborative participation, reflective action, and transformative learning. Such practitioner-research approaches are considered to be promising for advancing understandings pertaining to the social sciences, particularly in the education and public health domains.
Present-day academics have experienced the ‘long’ on-going paradigm war between qualitative and quantitative methods of doing research. In this univocal paradigmatic tendency of present-day academics to give more importance and/or to legitimize any one approach in place of the other, there are insufficient discourses on mixed (and/or multi) paradigm studies and practices that substantially bring together a range of approaches, including action, reflection and transformation. Addressing this gap, JrTP encourages the broad application of a range of qualitative, quantitative, mixed- and 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; and 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. Doing so, the journal facilitates pragmatic discussions related to the 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 researched together in a partnership, or quest, to create sustainable change on an issue of priority 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, thereupon 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, and even rejected, creating space for informed actions. Thus, in social science research, the use of (participatory) action research, reflective practice, and transformative learning seek to complement one another, where transformative praxis constitutes their meeting point.
It is to this end that transformative praxis brings action and reflection together. This enables the reflective practitioner to realize a need for informed change and encourages moving outside one’s comfort zone. 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 a few. Through reflective dialogue 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.