The research method used by OPIRG is participatory research (also known as action research, participatory action research, collaborative research, community-based participatory research or community-directed research). This research model is participatory in nature and is a process of learning and sharing together, in other words the process of co-generating knowledge, which includes:
- decolonizing our own minds “by unveiling reality, and thereby coming to know it critically”:
- comparing diverse knowledge, perspectives and worldviews in order to challenge monoculture assumptions;
- re-creating knowledge. “As we attain this knowledge of reality through common reflection and action, we discover ourselves as its permanent re-creators.” (Freire. 1993).
The participatory research method allows communities and researchers to demystify and democratize research by building partnerships based on mutual reflections, listening and mutual learning. This leads us to challenge our beliefs, our stereotypes and the structure of our society.