This paper describes the process followed by our research team -based on the democratic participation of the community- in order to improve communitarian, intercultural and inclusive aspects of two different schools. Our basic goal was to help transform both schools into effective intercultural and inclusive schools by means of research-action processes marked by a socio-communitarian perspective.
We applied the participatory research-action scheme to design a year round educational intervention loop. The target was to view and obtain real change in the schools over an academic year. Changing that, would show us that transformation and improvement are both necessary and possible. We have applied qualitative research techniques -with a critical and transforming approach- to collect and analyze data. We have run interviews and discussion groups involving different sectors of the educational community, and combined working groups. We have used Nudist 7.0 to perform the analysis of content.
As a result, we have identified a number of links that take the form of authorizations or access doors that become meaningful milestones in this process. Power structure, the professional bias of the institution and family mediation are the three main access doors. Democratic leadership, teachers' participation and compromise, and the implementation of a socio-communitarian perspective of education are three key issues we have been able to identify to advance in this direction. Key topics that drive us closer to Dewey's idea to understand the school as a unique sphere to live democracy in a participatory way.