Document Type

Conference Paper

Conference Name

International Education Conference; Status of Educational Reform in Developing Countries, Karachi, Pakistan

Conference Location





Working paper (EdQual RPC (Organization)), no. 7.

Publication (Name of Journal)

"Status of Educational Reform in Developing Countries"


Institute for Educational Development, Pakistan; Office of the Provost






This paper focuses on the process of collaborative action research (CAR) as an approach to teacher empowerment, and on issues and questions that emerged as a result of experience with CAR in Pakistan. This is part of a cross-national five year CAR project in selected schools in Pakistan, Rwanda and South Africa, Implementing curriculum change for reducing poverty and improving gender equity, which is studying the process of implementation of curriculum change in science and mathematics classrooms in disadvantaged settings, so that understandings of, and approaches to, poverty alleviation may be developed. A CAR approach has been adopted in this project as it offers a paradigm of change and knowledge generation rooted in the reality of the schools and classrooms and provides nuanced understanding of what constitutes quality in science and mathematics learning in contexts of disadvantage. This paper focuses on work within this project with schools in the District of Thatta, Pakistan, and suggests that field evidence to date shows that CAR is an ethically and technically sound approach to knowledge generation and change because it creates spaces to empower (in this case) teachers in the process of curriculum change through valuing teachers’ voice and their involvement in decision making.