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Productive Tensions in Youth Participatory Action Research


by Ben Kirshner — 2010

This chapter examines productive tensions that arise for research and learning when university researchers collaborate with young people to identify, study, and act on relevant social problems. These tensions are explored through a discussion of an intergenerational and interracial youth participatory action research (YPAR) project to study the impact of a high school closure on students. The chapter identifies tensions and dilemmas experienced by participants, including the author, and discusses insights that these generate for doing research in partnership with youth.


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This article originally appeared as NSSE Yearbook Vol 109. No. 1.


Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 112 Number 13, 2010, p. 238-251
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 18418, Date Accessed: 10/22/2017 10:44:56 PM

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About the Author
  • Ben Kirshner
    University of Colorado Boulder
    E-mail Author
    BEN KIRSHNER is an assistant professor in the School of Education at the University of Colorado, Boulder. His research examines how young people learn outside of school, develop collective identities, and exercise agency in social and political arenas. Recent publications include “Power in Numbers: Youth Organizing as a Context for Exploring Civic Identity” (2009, Journal of Research on Adolescence) and “Guided Participation in Three Youth Activism Organizations: Facilitation, Apprenticeship, and Joint Work” (2008, Journal of the Learning Sciences).
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