← Conversations

Engaging in Youth Participatory Action Research

Session 1
Nicole Mirra, Antero Garcia — Rutgers University, Stanford University

Digital media platforms allow more voices than ever before to dialogue about issues of public concern. These platforms offer particularly exciting opportunities for young people to wrestle with the most pressing issues of our time while developing identities as citizens and scholars. As teachers, students, and community members, how can we design experiences “with” rather than “for” young people – experiences that treat youth as knowledge producers oriented toward social action and justice as they navigate digital and analog environments? This conversation offers youth participatory action research (YPAR) as a framework for inquiry that pushes back on traditional models of the key actors (youth), processes (participatory), and purposes (action) of learning and research in classroom, community, and digital spaces. We will review the theory and practice of YPAR and jump into the collective work of designing experiences that encourage young people to conduct their own research. Participants in this conversation will learn not only from the facilitators, but also from resources developed by educators and students in Los Angeles who utilize YPAR in formal and informal learning contexts. All participants will have opportunities to share their current work with young people and learn from those in different contexts. By the end of the conversation, all participants will develop personalized action plans for engaging in YPAR projects and join an online network of educators that will reach beyond the conference and continuously share resources, research, strategies, and outcomes.

Conversational Practice

Though we'll share some strategies for teaching, research and collaboration, this conversation will be specific to the goals and levels of previous experience of individuals participating in this conversation. By the time this session ends, participants should have an outline for direct community/school-wide engagement around an issue relevant to their local community.

Conversation Links

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