Students and Pre-service Teachers as Critical Researchers

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Students and Pre-service Teachers as Critical Researchers

AERA 2015 Research to Performance Program (AERA-RTP)
The American Educational Research Association (AERA) Education Research to Performance Youth Apprenticeship Program is designed “to engage youth in education research and performance in order to enhance their appreciation of research, their engagement in it, and their recognition that knowledge production can be powerful and persuasive…Our goal is to create a small community of young researchers who are using performance as part of the collection of data, analysis of information, and presentation of research.” (Award Letter from Drs. Joyce King, Michelle Fine, George Wimberly) 

In December 2014, the team made up of a professor, a pre-service teacher, and two high school students represented the IUME-QC research collaboration at a workshop in Chicago supported and hosted by AERA. In April 2015, the team will join 9 other research teams in Chicago in presenting at the first AERA Research-to-Performance Festival. To read more about AERA-RTP and the team members who traveled to Chicago for this amazing opportunity, click here.



Students and Pre-service Teachers as Critical Researchers: (Re)framing Curriculum and Pedagogy in Teacher Education

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: 

  1. 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;
  2. 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,, or   

Read more about the project in English Leadership Quarterly by clicking here.