Achieving educational sustainability: A PALAR reflection of success


  • Leone Cameron
  • Bill Allen


This paper reports on the trajectory of a two-cycle participatory action learning action research (PALAR) project conducted in a third-year course at a regional university in Queensland, Australia. Students in the course exhibited problems that affected commitment and retention, including extensive work and family commitments; inconsistent classroom engagement in multicultural relationships, and differing interpretations of course requirements. Concurrently, the author wished to improve her practice. Our approach chose to combine a business model of action learning with more traditional action research cycles and the latest PALAR values. Student and academic critical reflection and peer consultation informed the transformative model of sustainable education, supported by values such as trust and respect and a ‘toolbox’ of interventions designed to enhance student engagement and commitment and deepen cross-cultural relationships. These positive outcomes helped more fully realise both student and academic potential.