Writing Workshops. An EENET action-research project, Mpika, Zambia, 17-24 July 2002


This report is an account of a series of meetings and activities which took place in Mpika, Zambia, in July 2002. It describes the activities, discussions and processes which took place during the week's visit by members of the action research team, and provides a snapshot of the action research project at a given point in time. The aims of the visit were to:

  • research the research process — by listening, observing and documenting through field notes, photography and research diaries
  • give feedback on the researcher's work in documenting and negotiating accounts of the research process
  • document and analyse the tools and processes used
  • discuss the progress of the research with the research committee
  • develop a set of draft guidelines for the running of participatory writing workshops
  • facilitate conversation between the Zambian and Tanzanian researchers.

The report is divided into the four main activities: school visits; Mpika research team meeting; school-based workshop; and teachers' workshop. This is followed by an analysis of the tools and techniques used in the activities, such as drawing mind maps; brainstorming; 'moving', or interactive classrooms; and informal focus groups.

Two sample stories are included in Appendix 3 which were put together by one of the outside facilitators following the workshops, and have been checked by the teachers in Mpika. These stories demonstrate that it is possible to create a collective story of a school community's experience of tackling exclusion from, and within, education.


University of Manchester, Manchester, UK, 52 pp.

Published 1 January 2002