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Students and Pre-service Teachers as Critical Researchers
Without students’ own voices and perspectives, educational reform will continue to miss the mark—it is crucial for students to be invited to participate in the development of their own education. Grounded in a Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) framework, this project privileges the first-hand experiences and knowledges of students, teachers, and communities, positioning them as agents of social change (Fine et al., 2004; Morrell, 2008). The project is designed to create opportunities for research collaborations with high school youth and undergraduate education students. The TC-IUME and CUNY-Queens College project is part of a qualitative examination of the experiences of high school students and pre-service teachers in the context of a co-curricular youth participatory action research (YPAR) seminar in two culturally and socioeconomically diverse urban schools. The purposes of the project are to:
- engage students and undergraduate pre-service teachers in critical participatory action research (PAR) projects that recognize and develop their multiple literacies to enact social change;
- and examine how the students and pre-service teachers’ YPAR experiences inform their perceptions about identities, literacies, curriculum, and achievement.
Youth and pre-service teacher participants are fully engaged in every project phase, from design to implementation to critical reflection and analysis. QC pre-service teachers and high school students participate in seminars at Teachers College and Queens College, in which students design their own research projects as well as reflect on which aspects of the seminar itself are helpful to them as academics and youth activists. The collaboratively-developed curriculum simultaneously introduces high school students and pre-service teachers to critical research theory and methods. In collaboration with Urban Word NYC, the seminars also explore opportunities to communicate the youth’s research results using a range of rhetorical modes—from digital literacies to hip hop, rap, and spoken word. Students and pre-service teachers plan and deliver presentations on their work (in a variety of formats, depending on their strengths and interests), during an annual youth summit, Cyphers for Justice, directed by Jamila Lyiscott at Teachers College.
For information about the project, please contact Dr. Limarys Caraballo, firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com
Read more about the project in English Leadership Quarterly by clicking here.