Creative Action Research

Theatre activity


Creative action research combines participatory action research, visual and other arts-based research methodologies, and social innovation processes to explore key research questions with participants.

In this work, we employ a range of expressive activities designed to encourage individual and shared exploration of the research questions. For example, we use Visual Explorer™  a pre-existing sets of photos, to explore experiences of the community and recovery using visual metaphors, graphic recording to develop a more collective story through images, graphics, and words, and photo-elicitation activities that generate photo-stories (photos with captions or brief paragraphs) in response to research questions.

Using art to tell stories can enhance critical reflection, challenge routine thinking, and facilitate the development of creative problem-solving skills while also supporting empowerment, action, and knowledge mobilization within and beyond research communities.

For examples of creative action research, please check out our project website for the youth creating disaster recovery project:, and the following recent publications:

Fletcher, S., Cox, R.S., Scannell, L., Heykoop, C., Tobin-Gurley, J., & Peek, L. (2016). Youth Creating Disaster Recovery and Resilience: A Multi-Site Arts-Based Youth Engagement Research Project. Children, Youth and Environments, 26(1), 148-163. JSTOR.

Social Innovation