Harvard Educational Review
  1. Winter 1993 Issue »

    Researching Change and Changing the Researcher

    Concha Delgado-Gaitan
    In this article, Concha Delgado-Gaitan describes her experience as a researcher in Carpinteria, a predominantly Mexican-American community in California. After collecting data about family literacy practices through ethnographic observations and interviews, she began meeting regularly with parents to share her findings and solicit their input. These meetings became a turning point for Delgado-Gaitan, redirecting the focus of her research from literacy activities to the process of community empowerment as she learned from these parents about their own understanding of literacy and about their concerns regarding communication with schools. Through these meetings, the parents organized as a group, in order to demand that the school respond to their needs.

    The situation challenged Delgado-Gaitan to redefine her role as a researcher. After much internal debate and reflection, she decided to become involved in the empowerment of parents as an informant and facilitator. This article is the story of how this research project supported the process of community empowerment in Carpinteria, and how that process challenged the researcher to examine her own identity, to refocus her research, and to change.

    Click here to purchase this article.

  2. Share