History and culture of ALARA - the Action Learning and Action Research Association
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As co-founders of the Action Learning and Action Research Association (ALARA), we tell the story of this international network organisation through our personal experience. Our history traces the evolution of ALARA from origins at the first World Congress in 1990 in Brisbane, Australia, through development over two and a half decades, to its association with other international networks today. We discuss the vision, goals, principles, ethics, values and strategies of ALARA as a volunteer-driven operation. We reflect on ALARA congresses and conferences as 'learning conferences' and develop a model for conference organisers and a model for delegates to maximise the opportunities for learning, knowledge creation, collaboration and turning conference papers into publications, whether as published journal articles, books or book chapters. We also suggest a new kind of action learning and action research that has emerged/developed in ALARA after its close collaboration with the PAR Network: participatory action learning and action research. Finally, we discuss the challenges for ALARA and its limitations. In the collaborative spirit through which the organisation has grown, we hope this history of ALARA's development and culture may stimulate other action researchers, especially in developing countries, to start their own ALARA branches or totally new action learning and action research associations.
- Faculty of Education 
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