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ERIC Number: EJ1083957
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Using Action Research to Engage Youth in Improving OST Programming
Hubbard, Brian
Afterschool Matters, n22 p32-36 Fall 2015
Youth are often portrayed as apathetic, uninvolved, and reluctant to participate in their communities (Baizerman, Hildreth, & Roholt, 2013). Ironically, however, communities offer few opportunities for youth to address issues that are compelling to their interests and that engage their commitment and action (Bradford & Cullen, 2012; Sabo-Flores, 2008). Youth are rarely invited into established decision-making structures or trained to participate in them (Baizerman et al., 2013). In response to this gap, funders and policymakers have increasingly asked youth organizations to involve young people in decision-making processes (Williams, Ferguson, & Yohalem, 2013). Underlying this requirement is the belief that youth participation gives young people voice, builds social capital, and extends their citizenship rights while simultaneously generating knowledge that organizations can use to improve services, programs, political structures, and environments (Kirby, Lanyon, Cronin, & Sinclair, 2003; Percy-Smith, 2007). To build a culture of participation, out-of-school time (OST) providers, educators, planners, and advocacy groups need to partner with youth, engaging them in projects that are meaningful to them, to the adults who support them, and to their communities. One means of building such a culture is action-based research. After introducing the context of the Conservation Corps, this article describes two specific aspects of the action-based research approach: a participatory process and the co-production of necessary and useful knowledge.
National Institute on Out-of-School Time. Wellesley Centers for Women, 106 Central Street, Wellesley, MA 02481. Tel: 781-283-2547; Fax: 781-283-3657; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Minnesota
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A