As the field of critical participatory action research (CPAR) with youth (YPAR) (Morrell, 2004; Torre, Fine, Stoudt, & Fox, 2011) becomes firmly established in the milieu of critical pedagogy, it is incumbent upon educational researchers to continue to investigate and uncover nuance in CPAR as a social practice. This study resists the temptation to become a CPAR "victory narrative," and instead foregrounds the contradictions, contestations, and emergent crises that are inherent in positioning marginalized youth as critical researchers. This critical ethnographic (Madison, 2005) study is situated in the context of a community-school-university partnership where high school youth of African descent participated in a college course taught at an African-centered (Mazama, 2003) community-based organization in St. Paul, Minnesota, called Network for the Development of Children of African Descent (NdCAD). The study explores the development of CPAR as a pedagogical and methodological practice while being informed by the cultural and educational environment of NdCAD.This dissertation uses mediated discourse analysis (Norris & Jones, 2005a; Scollon, 2001) as an analytical tool to theorize various perspectives regarding participation. Specifically, it addresses whether or not CPAR is inherently participatory and how pedagogy can both encourage and limit participation within CPAR. The study theorizes the concept of "participatory subjectivity," or a way of being that recognizes benefit in the coalescence of individuality and collectivity as a vital, yet elusive, destination for youth engaged in collective research. Participatory subjectivity remained elusive for the youth in this study as they transitioned their research away from collective action on a community issue to more introspective inquiry that addressed the development of their personal worldviews. This shift in perspective complicates the ways in which CPAR is traditionally imagined, thus challenging researchers to gain clarity about what constitutes CPAR. Finally, this dissertation situates CPAR conducted with youth of African descent in the United States as a liberatory project that combats the historical trajectory of black education as a tool for the perpetual subservience of communities of African descent to the whim of structural white supremacy.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. May 2014. Major: Education, Curriculum and Instruction. Advisor. Bic Ngo, Ph.D. 1 computer file (PDF); viii, 315 pages, appendices A-B.
Lozenski, Brian David.
Developing a critical eye (I), chasing a critical we: intersections of participatory action research, crisis, and the education of black youth.
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