Benjamin Malczyk, Marlon Mickle, & Rose Greene to present at the 27th Annual Conference of the American Evaluation Association.
Benjamin Malczyk, Marlon Mickle, & Rose Greene. Participatory Student Research: Community Triumphs Over Institutional Challenges. Paper Presentation at the 27th Annual Conference of the American Evaluation Association. Washington, DC. October 2013.
This presentation will share both the triumphs and challenges associated with involving local high school youth as researchers to assess community perceptions of an urban school district in upstate New York. This participatory research project was one component of a larger neighborhood reform initiative where community members felt undermined and disconnected. The project had many benefits in terms of community engagement and student growth. However, lack of institutional comfort and familiarity with participatory research approaches as well as inflexible IRB protocols created significant delays and nearly put an end to the project. We will discuss the lessons learned to assist other researchers who are considering this approach. Specifically, we will provide feedback from youth about the benefits of this experience, offer reflections on the broader community impact, describe unique insights gleaned through the participatory research approach, and discuss ways to overcome such challenges as gaining IRB approval and university acceptance.