Using Youth Participatory Action Research to Support BIPOC, Working Class, and Working Poor Elementary School Students' Conscientización
Keywords:working class children, schools, conscientización, empowerment, youth, participatory action research
This talk draws together two decades of research designed to center BIPOC children as they discuss and continue to develop what a productive school culture means to them. All studies are presented to address a framework to better understand the process of change/conscientización as a theoretical guide. I engage two research questions: What are the characteristics of liked school places, and how do they differ from disliked places? and How does the developmental process of conscientización unfold (prospectively)? The first reserch question, based on a long-term collaboration at one elementary school, sets the stage for another long-term youth participatory action research project at another elementary school. The second research question is addressed through a series of studies where children decide how they want to make decisions as a group, how they discern a problem to focus on, and how this affects their relational empowerment in the school. Children’s critical consciousness and actions are highlighted across these studies.
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