Syllabi of classes and workshops with a community-based research focus.

Ferguson Syllabus

This syllabus focuses on the death of teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and the subsequent non-indictment of Darren Wilson, the police officer who killed him.  The syllabus was created for a first-year composition class by Evan Kindley, Visiting Instructor in the Department of Literature at Claremont McKenna College.  It is in part the result of crowd-sourced conversation that began on Facebook.

URBAN is thankful for the opportunity to share this syllabus.  In the spirit of providing the authentic context from which this syllabus was created, the email written by Mr. Kindley to his students is included. Continue reading

Civic Media: Collaborative Design Studio

The Civic Media: Codesign Studio provides a service-learning opportunity for students wherein they are organized into multidisciplinary, diverse teams that work together with a community partner to create civic media projects based on real-world needs. The studio is also a space for shared inquiry into the theory, history, best practices, and critiques of various approaches to community inclusion in iterative stages of project ideation, design, implementation, testing, and evaluation. Continue reading

The Theory of Participatory Action Research

This course provides an introduction to the theory of participatory action research and more generally to competing ideas about the uses of social research to promote social change. Students will explore the epistemological foundation for action research, knowledge generation in action research, the role of the “friendly outsider,” action science and organizational learning, participatory evaluation and arguments for and against phronetic social science. Continue reading

Outside the School Box

This course explores historical and contemporary challenges involved in the policy and practice of viewing education more broadly than schooling alone. Students will explore several historical case studies, conceptual frames, and current policy challenges, culminating in a research project in service to the Norris Square community in Philadelphia. Continue reading

Civic & Community Engagement (in Urban Schools) Honors Course

This course was developed as a partnership between the education department at Penn State-Berks, The Penn State Educational Partnership Program’s Urban Teacher Leadership Program, and the school district of the city of Reading, PA. Themes explored in this course include: urban education, youth civic engagement, and action research. Students in the course engaged in service learning (mentoring middle and high school students) and action research. This syllabus may be particularly helpful for those interested in integrating action research into service-learning courses. The instructor for this course, Kira Baker-Doyle, is now Assistant Professor of Education and Director of Programs in Literacies, Technologies, and Citizenship Studies at the Arcadia University School of Education. For more information about this course, please contact her at Continue reading

Guidebook for Designing Community-Based Courses

Developed by the Cal Corps Public Service Center at the University of California, Berkeley, this handbook provides resources to assist scholars in creating, implementing, and strengthening engaged scholarship courses. Some of the resources include guiding questions to help practitioners in thinking through their own ideas. Themes related to community-engaged teaching, research, and service are explored. Continue reading