Active Learning : Social Justice Education and Participatory Action Research
(Teaching/learning Social Justice Series)
Wright, Dana E.
209 p. 24 cm.
Presents an examination of innovative, interactive teaching strategies that were successful in engaging urban students who struggled with classroom learning.
While many educators acknowledge the challenges of a curriculum shaped by test preparation, implementing meaningful new teaching strategies can be difficult. Active Learning presents an examination of innovative, interactive teaching strategies that were successful in engaging urban students who struggled with classroom learning. Drawing on rich ethnographic data, the book proposes participatory action research as a viable approach to teaching and learning that supports the development of multiple literacies in writing, reading, research and oral communication. As Wright argues, in connecting learning to authentic purposes and real world consequences, participatory action research can serve as a model for meaningful urban school reform. After an introduction to the history and demographics of the working-class West Coast neighborhood in which the described PAR project took place, the book discusses the "pedagogy of praxis" method and the project's successful development of student voice, sociopolitical analysis capacities, leadership skills, empowerment and agency. Topics addressed include an analysis and discussion of the youth-driven PAR process, the reactions of student researchers, and the challenges for adults in maintaining youth and adult partnerships. A thought-provoking response to current educational challenges, Active Learning offers both timely implications for educational reform and recommendations to improve school policies and practices.
Table of Contents
Contents Foreword Chapter 1: Introduction Overview of the Central Youth United Participatory Action Research Project Researcher Location and Research Commitments Research Methods and the Study Context Overview of the Book Organization of the Book Chapter 2: Participatory Action Research (PAR) with Youth as Pedagogy Introduction What is Active Learning? The Youth Discourses: Systems of Reasoning that Frame Young People Adultism The Role of Asset-based Pedagogies in Building Sociopolitical Consciousness The Contexts of Schooling and Learning What is Participatory Action Research with Youth? PAR with Youth as a Teaching and Learning Approach PAR as a Pedagogical Approach in the Central Youth United Project Chapter 3: The Context of Central Youth United and Participant Profiles Introduction Profile of the Central Neighborhood Background of the Central Youth United Project Overview of the Central Youth United Project Central Youth United Student Researcher Profiles Jocelyn Rashna Alejandra Terrence Jason Miguel Eric Victor Chenda Ameera Profiles of Organizations Affiliated with the CYU Project Central Community Development Center (CCDC) Central Community Organizing Alliance Representing Ourselves Sister Space Central Youth Task Force Youth Voices Chapter 4: A Pedagogy of Praxis: Connecting Reflection and Action Introduction Participatory Action Research as a Structured Teaching Approach CYU's Purpose and Goals and Motivations to Join the Project A Community Building Curriculum to Promote Collaborative Inquiry A Gradual Process to Bolster Marginalized Students' Voice A Pedagogy that Supports Youth Participation and Active Learning Structured Activities to Elicit Youth Voice, Experiences and Perspectives Teaching Strategies to Guide and Build Knowledge Producers Conclusion: A Pedagogy of Praxis Approach Chapter 5: Situated Learning: Change Agents in a Meaningful Purpose Introduction Youth Input and Decision-making: Contributing Ideas and Experiences Relational Leadership: A Dialogical Process in Communities of Practice Group Accountability within Relational Leadership Inspiring Teamwork and Engagement in Others Through Relational Leadership Peer Mentorship as a Component of Relational Leadership Development Emergent Leadership Roles: Situated Learning A Sense of Ownership Adult Role in Increasing Project Ownership Developing Agency, Commitment and Accountability Features of Youth-led Work and Challenges Challenges in Supporting a Youth-led Process Conclusion: Situated Learning and Building Agency Situated Learning Connecting Ownership, Agency and Motivation through Communities of Practice Positive Youth Development and Participation Chapter 6: Promoting Sociopolitical Analysis Skills Introduction A Dialogic Approach that Taps Funds of Knowledge to Actively Construct Ideas Developing Sociopolitical Analysis Skills The Role of Vulnerability in Understanding Shared Challenges Conclusion: Sociopolitical Analysis Development Chapter 7: Empowering Youth as Experts and Knowledge Producers Introduction Successful Interventions by Instructors to Resolve Interpersonal Conflicts Increasing Voice and Empowerment to Build Agency Impact of the PAR Presentation and Next Steps Discussion Chapter 8: Tensions and Dilemmas in Sustaining Collaborative Work Introduction Catalyzing Events Impacting Group Dynamics The Importance of Reflective Space In Group Processes The Importance of Critical Care Approaches in Teaching Students of Color Tensions in Partnerships between Student Researchers and Instructors Impacts of Jason's Disengagement on Group Dynamics Lessons Learned about Instructors' Roles and Interventions Teaching Codes of Power to Navigate Environments Sacrificing the Whole for One: The Need for Boundaries The Construction of Four Context-Free "Bad Boys" Discussion Roles, Strategies and Approaches in Central Youth United Design Issue: An Unfit Match? Design and Planning Issue: A Lack of Support for Instructors Design Issue: Bridging Two Youth Organizations Design Issue: Connecting Macro- and Micro-level Violence Conclusion: Implications for Youth and Adult Partnerships Adults' Support of Participatory Action Research Projects with Youth Chapter 9: Conclusion Summary of Key Points A Pedagogy of Praxis Significance of a Pedagogy of Praxis Sociopolitical Analysis Development Relational Leadership and Agency Youth and Adult Partnerships: Power With Dilemmas and Challenges the PAR Project Faced Transferability of Study Findings Recommendations for Teaching and Schools: PAR as Pedagogy Recommendations for Practice: Participatory Action Research Implications for Policy and Planning Implications for Future Research Discussion References