Active Learning: Social Justice Education and Participatory Action Research examines a participatory action research (PAR) project led by young people as a teaching and learning approach with implications for pedagogy, schools, educational policy and education reform and transformation. This book was written by Dana E. Wright and published by Routledge in March 2015.
In the PAR project explored in the book, student researchers collaborated with a community and youth organizing group and two youth development organizations to answer the question, “What do young people really need in our community?” Through a participatory education model, student researchers address salient issues impacting their neighborhood community–hyper policing, race, gender and gentrification—to fight for a youth center and youth leadership programing in their neighborhood. The description of the book is below.
While many educators acknowledge the challenges of a curriculum shaped by test preparation, implementing meaningful new teaching strategies can be difficult. Active Learning presents an examination of innovative, interactive teaching strategies that were successful in engaging urban students who struggled with classroom learning.
Drawing on rich ethnographic data, the book proposes participatory action research as a viable approach to teaching and learning that supports the development of multiple literacies. As Wright argues, in connecting learning to authentic purposes and real world consequences, participatory action research can serve as a model for meaningful urban school reform.