ERIC Number: EJ908720
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Nov
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 75
Challenges in Engaging Communities in Bottom-Up Literacies for Democratic Citizenship
Torres, Myriam N.
Education, Citizenship and Social Justice, v5 n3 p191-205 Nov 2010
The purpose of this article is to examine the authors' experiences while trying to enter and engage local communities in bottom-up literacies through participatory action research (PAR) toward the community's own collective self-development. In trying to enter five different communities, I have found several challenges and roadblocks such as mistrust of "university people": legacy of the conventional outside-in and top-down research procedures for working in communities; power struggles with community "gatekeepers", including "building keepers"; and bureaucratized project-driven community work. I consider that under the current neoliberal educational policies that are plaguing the world, for example, No Child Left Behind in the USA, self-development projects promoted through PAR can be viable ways to defy these policies and their fatalist thinking. School children's parents and their communities are nowadays in a better position than teachers to fight for reclaiming local control of curriculum, pedagogy and assessment.
Descriptors: Action Research, Federal Legislation, Democracy, Citizenship, Participatory Research, Community Involvement, Barriers, Performance Factors, Social Justice, Social Responsibility, School Restructuring, School Community Relationship, Phenomenology, Literacy, Research Problems, Community Cooperation
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001