Dr. Rubin Helps to Create Youth Participatory Action Research Curriculum

Beth C. Rubin, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Education and Co-Director of the Social Studies Education Program and the Rutgers Graduate School of Education (GSE) Urban Teaching Fellows Program, collaborated with researchers Mayida Zaal of Montclair State University and Jennifer Ayala of Saint Peters College as well as teachers Shana Stein, Brian Ford, Anne Baney, Milagros Harris, and Amir Billups from Newark and Montclair school districts to explore the impact of youth participatory action research IN  social studies classrooms.  The project, supported by the Overbrook Foundation and the Schumann Fund For New Jersey, was piloted in fifteen New Jersey schools during the 2010-2011 academic year.

The research team reconceptualized and adapted Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) theories and methods for classroom use, promoting student engagement through their participation in original research on issues and problems of concern to them.   The GSE’s Urban Teaching Fellows, who are also participating in the YPAR training, will be using the research curriculum with their students while working in GSE’s partner schools.

In January the first of several training sessions to help teachers integrate youth action research into their lesson plans, was held at Rutgers University. In attendance were pre and in-service teachers, youth workers, and faculty members. 

Students from Perth Amboy and New Brunswick who have been working with the Urban Teaching Fellows will present their research findings to parents, school staff members, and Rutgers faculty and students on May 1, 2012.  Past presentations have included topics of parental involvement, student leadership, gangs in the schools, and school budget.

To learn more about the YPAR curriculum by please visit the program’s website.  Find out more about the GSE’s Urban Teaching Fellows program here.