ERIC Number: ED457181
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001-Apr
Youth-Adult Research Collaborations: Bringing Youth Voice and Development to the Research Process.
Kirshner, Benjamin R.; O'Donoghue, Jennifer L.
This paper constructs a framework for understanding research partnerships with youth and uses this framework to examine a project in which university researchers collaborated with youth to examine their educational institutions and the contexts of their learning. Adult researchers trained and supervised 21 "youth ethnographers" to carry out research among their peers in schools, youth centers, and neighborhoods. As part of a 2-year study of a multi-site youth development initiative in an urban area, the youth ethnographers gathered evidence through interviews, observations, and informal discussions, and reported their findings and analyzed their data about the experiences of youth and the role of neighborhood, school, and peer contexts. The project provided evidence of a variety of benefits of the approach. There were tangible benefits to the youth ethnographers themselves. They learned research skills, earned a stipend, and met new people. The project also had a positive impact on researchers' relations with youth center adult staff. The approach also helped the study gather data to which it would not otherwise have had access. There were also challenges that give cause for reflection, such as the tension between making the project a developmental experience of youth and making it a data collection effort for researchers, or the question of motivating the young participants. Some strategies are suggested to deal with these and associated issues in conducting inquiries with young research assistants. (Contains 43 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Seattle, WA, April 10-14, 2001).