The Freechild Project believes that youth-centered Participatory Action
Research, or PAR, is an effective method of engaging young people
in research in order to create positive social change. It has been
defined as "collective, self-reflective enquiry undertaken by
participants in social situations in order improve the rationality
and justice of their own social...practices."
(Definition taken from the source cited
Point to Ponder
"We believe that to confront the challenges our
communities face, people--not just their advocates--need to define
issues and develop strategies for action. [We] foster leadership,
literacy and language development among its participants and
provides them an enriching job experience that prepares them for
college and for careers in community organizing, advocacy and
services delivery." (YARG
organizations and publications have been identified by Freechild's
youth researchers to assist young people and their
adult allies in discovering more about PAR.
Youth Action Research Institute (YARI)
The Youth Action Research
Institute (YARI) (formerly the National Teen Action Research
Center) of the Institute for Community Research was formed in
1996 based on nearly a decade of work on youth-led action
research for development, risk prevention, and social change.
YARI promotes the use of action research for personal, group,
and community development. Participants include children,
preadolescents, and youth of diverse ethnic backgrounds as well
as sexual minority youth.
Youth Action Research Group -
The Youth Action Research Group (YARG)
involves community residents in defining, researching and
critically analyzing the challenges facing their neighborhoods.
The young people in YARG learn participatory action research
methods and ethnographic techniques to better understand their
surrounding community for the purpose of addressing pressing
social issues. YARG was founded with the goal of
developing new leaders and engaging more people in community
organizing and local citizenship. We believe that to confront
the challenges our communities face, people--not just their
advocates--need to define issues and develop strategies for
action. YARG fosters leadership, literacy and language
development among its participants and provides them an
enriching job experience that prepares them for college and for
careers in community organizing, advocacy and services delivery.
Youth Strategy Project -
The Youth Strategy Project
provides strategic research, consultation, and training for
social, economic and environmental justice organizations. It is
tailored to build the research and analytical skills of the next
generation of movement leaders. The project has
established partnerships with technical assistance groups
supporting youth organizing throughout the U.S. We also conduct
research and develop trainings for community-based youth
organizations and projects around the country.
Approaches to Conducting Action Research with Youth
- Special Issue of the
Journal of Practicing Anthropology edited by M. Berg and J.
Schensul of the Institute for Community Research. Covers a wide
variety of topics and examples, including PAR in schools, teen
health issues, international applications, and more.
Youth Involvement in Evaluation and Research Brief
Creating Community Change:
Challenges and Tensions in Community Youth Research - an issue
Youth Engaged in Leadership &
Learning (Youth Mapping) annotated bibliography
Going the Distance: Supporting Community Youth Development - a
presentation at the
Coalition of Community Foundation for Youth 2002 Annual
Youth Engaged in Leadership & Learning (Y.E.L.L.)by the J.
Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities at Stanford Univ.
[90 pg (est) PDF 2001] -
For anyone involved in youth
development and leadership. Designed help those training youth
to become active contributors to decision-making processes in
their community. Lessons in the handbook introduce youth to
different research methods, analytical tools and presentation
skills. The lessons can be adapted to meet the needs and
interests of different communities, and can be facilitated by
teachers and educators in school and out-of-school contexts.
Empowered Voices: A Participatory Action Research Curriculum for
This curriculum is a project
designed to reduce or prevent substance abuse and risky sexual
behavior and increase school attachment through participatory
action research. The program is based on social learning theory
and was designed for use with Puerto Rican, African-American and
Caribbean girls from at-risk neighborhoods.
Participatory Action Research Curriculum for Empowering Youth
Crossroads: Critical Issues in Community Based Research
Partnerships National Conference -
A conference exclusively for youth that includes an adult/youth
panel on PAR, an interactive workshop on PAR, a screening room
with videos produced in collaboration with youth, an open mic,
as well as a session on the use of video and photography in
research which includes work developed by teens.
Special thanks to Marlene Berg at the Institute for Community
Research for her contributions to this