Harvard Educational Review
  1. Summer 2020 Issue »

    “I Hesitate but I Do Have Hope”

    Youth Speculative Civic Literacies for Troubled Times

    In this essay, Nicole Mirra and Antero Garcia explore how young people from six demographically distinct communities across the United States understand the social and political issues affecting their lives, engage in storytelling and dialogue across differences, and collaboratively imagine humanizing and hopeful civic futures. Drawing from critical race perspectives on democracy and civic education, and with an expansive vision of the nature and purpose of literacy, Mirra and Garcia develop a speculative approach to civic literacy research and practice that centers the voices and concerns of young people, honors differences of identity and expression, and manifests ideological commitments to equity, empathy, and collective struggle to ward off civic disintegration. Findings from their social design-based experiment foreground counterstories in which youth challenge their positioning as not-yet-citizens, create opportunities to engage in civic life on their own terms, and leverage their repertoire of literacy practices to invent new possibilities for inclusive democratic community life.

    Click here to access this article.
    Nicole Mirra (https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4225-2209) is an assistant professor of urban teacher education in the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. She previously taught high school English language arts in Brooklyn, New York, and Los Angeles. Her research explores the intersections of critical literacy and civic engagement with youth and teachers across classroom, community, and digital learning environments. Mirra’s scholarship has appeared in Review of Research in Education, Journal of Literacy Research, International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, and Urban Education, among other publications. Her most recent book is Educating for Empathy: Literacy Learning and Civic Engagement (Teachers College Press, 2018).

    Antero Garcia (https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8417-4723) is an assistant professor in the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University, where he studies how technology and gaming shape youth and adult learning, literacy practices, and civic identities. Prior to completing his PhD, he was an English teacher at a public high school in South Central Los Angeles. Among Garcia’s recent books are Good Reception: Teens, Teachers, and Mobile Media in a Los Angeles High School (MIT Press, 2017), Doing Youth Participatory Action Research: Transforming Inquiry with Researchers, Educators, and Students (with Nicole Mirra and Ernest Morrell; Routledge, 2015), and Pose, Wobble, Flow: A Culturally Proactive Approach to Literacy Instruction (with Cindy O’Donnell-Allen; Teachers College Press, 2015).
  2. Summer 2020 Issue


    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