Harvard Educational Review
  1. Summer 2020 Issue »

    Amplifying Action

    Theories, Questions, Doubts, and Hopes Related to the “Action” Phase of a Critical Participatory Action Research Process

    SARAH ZELLER-BERKMAN, JESSICA BARRETO, and ASHA SANDLER
    In this essay, authors Sarah Zeller-Berkman, Jessica Barreto, and Asha Sandler, members of an intergenerational research team, explore findings from a critical participatory action research (CPAR) project on the lived experiences of young people in New York City who fell behind in middle school and/or who had the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) in their lives. This qualitative companion project to a Department of Education (DOE) and ACS data-sharing initiative included focus groups that surfaced recommendations for healing-centered approaches, equitable schools, and institutionalized ways young people are part of identifying issues and implementing solutions. This article examines these recommendations in relation to past and concurrent CPAR projects conducted by other intergenerational participatory action research and/or activist groups in New York City. It articulates a theory of action as it relates to youth participation on issues that impact young people’s lives more broadly, not just related to school reform.

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    Sarah Zeller-Berkman is the director of Youth Studies Programs at the CUNY School of Professional Studies, where she also directs the Intergenerational Change Initiative, a youth participatory action research project involving tech and participatory policy making. She has spent the last two decades as a practitioner, researcher, evaluator, and capacity-builder in the field of youth and community development. Trained in social-personality psychology, she has worked in partnership with young people on participatory action research projects about issues that impact their lives, such as sexual harassment in schools, incarceration, parental incarceration, child welfare, and school discipline.

    Jessica Barreto is an undergraduate student at Baruch College, where she is studying public administration. She aspires to work for the child welfare system with the aim of positively impacting future children who are engaged with these agencies. She is an adopted child who has been in foster care and has had multiple experiences with child welfare agencies. As a senior in high school, she had the opportunity to work with the Intergenerational Change Initiative as a youth researcher.

    Asha Sandler is a senior at Hunter College High School in New York City. She loves reading, writing, and conducting social science research. She volunteers at a pro se immigration clinic, is passionate about helping refugees, and aspires to one day work in immigration law or policy.
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    Summer 2020 Issue

    Abstracts

    Youth Voices in Education Research
    Editors’ Introduction
    Becca Spindel Bassett and Tatiana Geron

    Book Notes

    Girlhood in the Borderlands
    Lilia Soto

    The Heart of the Matter
    Peer Group Connection Students at Morris Academy for Collaborative Studies

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