This article describes and critically examines the collaborative research process between an urban university’s research center and its community partners. The authors link the theoretical framework of collaborative research, participatory action research, and critical pedagogy to their personal experiences involving two collaborative research projects in which they participated. The projects were designed to foster engagement of youth in civic life through social research and to raise awareness of social inequality and injustice. The authors critically examine various phases of research with a particular focus on the following challenges: recruitment and attendance issues, development, language and methods issues, and the university and funding agency-driven push for a “product.” The authors point out the strengths and weaknesses of the collaborative approach and problematize issues not visible in the final research reports. Finally, strategies for enhancing the quality of the collaborative research involving youth are proposed.
Research Professor on society, culture, art, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, neuroscience, autopoiesis, self-organization, complexity, systems, networks, rhizomes, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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