Collaborative inquiry: Youth, social action, and critical qualitative research

What can youth teach us about research and social action? Our work with youth engaged in a participatory action research (YPAR) and multi-literacies afterschool seminar has led us to focus on the legacy of participatory action research as a way to reimagine the teaching of critical qualitative research. In this article, we discuss strategies developed and implemented in an after-school YPAR seminar in order to highlight how collaborative educational spaces can contribute to teaching and engaging in critical qualitative research. As our lead reviewer for ARJ, Dr Mary Brydon Miller noted, our article offers something to a broad range of readers because “it gives practical guidance for those interested in the notion of transformative qualitative inquiry in implementing projects using a [Youth Participatory Action Research] YPAR model.  And at the same time, it offers those who are already engaging youth as co-researchers and local change agents a well-developed theoretical framework to better inform their practice.”

Beyond highlighting generative strategies, we explore the possibilities and limitations of teaching qualitative research critically and reflexively, particularly at the intersection of qualitative action research, critical literacies, and youth social action. We argue that this work is highly contextual, and connected to our positionalities as individuals, educators, and researchers. As Dr Brydon Miller notes, for many “teachers and school administrators [who] are envisioning research on areas dealing with the challenges of urban education, this provides a very useful example of how they can integrate theory and practice in taking on these issues.”

Blog post written by 

We invite you to learn more about this experience by reading our article HERE. Free 30-day access is available for this article beginning 12 April, 2017.

After you’ve had a chance to read this piece, please share your thoughts, ideas, or experiences with our community in the comments below so we can continue this discussion!