Guiding Principles for Community Engagement: Reflections on a School-Based Sustainability Project

  • Charlotte Blythe University of Auckland
  • Niki Harré University of Auckland
  • Sindra Sharma University of Auckland
  • Victoria Dillon
  • Briar Douglas University of Auckland
  • Amandia Didsbury University of Auckland
Keywords: Sustainability, Action research, Environmental, Youth, Phenomenology, Autoethnography

Abstract

This article describes an action research project in which community psychologists worked with a school community to promote environmentally sustainable practices. Our research team had five guiding principles: strengths-based, empowerment, role modeling, communication, and measurement and feedback. Here we describe a phenomenological study of how we experienced our principles and how key participants from the school perceived our professional practice. Each research team member completed a self-reflective survey and key staff and students from the school were interviewed. Amongst other benefits, the principles were valuable in promoting coherence within the research team, guiding decision-making and providing a framework for critical reflection. Recommendations are given for researchers and community practitioners interested in initiating sustainability projects with local organizations or using a similar principles-based approach in other collaborative endeavors.
Published
2018-07-20
How to Cite
Blythe, C., Harré, N., Sharma, S., Dillon, V., Douglas, B., & Didsbury, A. (2018). Guiding Principles for Community Engagement: Reflections on a School-Based Sustainability Project. Journal for Social Action in Counseling & Psychology, 5(3), 44-69. https://doi.org/10.33043/JSACP.5.3.44-69