ERIC Number: ED486489
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2004-May
A Guide to Facilitating Action Research for Youth
Research for Action
What is "action research" and how is it relevant to urban youth activists? Action research is a systematic process of inquiry, which involves gathering information about an issue or problem, analyzing the findings, and developing practical plans for affecting positive change. It is motivated by the desire to investigate in order to better understand the root causes of social and political injustices, such as poverty, racism, lack of affordable housing, etc. and to develop action plans to address inequities. This booklet is designed to guide organizers and other facilitators working with young people as they introduce different skills needed to do successful action research and help students carry out action research projects. The Guide does not cover every aspect of professional research, but it provides enough ideas and activities to get leaders and facilitators started. The guide is divided into three sections, representing three major stages in the process of an action research project: (1) "What?": Choosing a research topic and collecting data; (2) "So What?": Analyzing and interpreting the findings; and (3) "Now What?": Making use of your study's findings. Within each of these sections are subsections related to steps in the action research process. Each subsection includes descriptions of one or more group activities that facilitators can use with students to help them develop needed skills and carry out their research project. Sections titled "Building Momentum" offer activities students can do on their own to advance their learning. Also included in this report is a story that illustrates how high school students in Oakland, CA public schools, carried out an extensive and very productive action research project as part of their campaign to lower the dropout rate and increase student engagement and power. The narrative explains how the students handled each of the stages of an action research project: defining the issues, deciding whom to ask and what kind of research instrument(s) to use, formulating questions, collecting data, analyzing the data to figure out what has been learned, developing conclusions and recommendations, and presenting the work. Some appendixes include: Reading Strategies; How to Write a Thesis Statement; Journal Writing Worksheet; and On-line Resources for Research. [This Guide was made possible in part from a grant from the Surdna Foundation to Youth United for Change and from a grant to Research for Action from the Bread and Roses Community Fund.]
Descriptors: Action Research, Urban Youth, Group Activities, Data Interpretation, Research Projects, Worksheets, Data Collection, High School Students, Reading Strategies, Social Action
Research for Action, 3701 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104. Web site: http://www.researchforaction.org; Tel: 215-823-2500; Fax: 215-823-2510.
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Surdna Foundation, Inc., New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: Research for Action, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.