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The Council of Youth Research

The Council of Youth Research

Written by Cliff Lee
October 28, 2010

In a partnership between UCLA’s Institute for Democracy, Education, and Access and Los Angeles high school students, the Council of Youth Research provides students with opportunities and resources to actively engage in research for school and community change. Students collaborate with UCLA graduate students, professors, teachers, and other high school student researchers from across the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) to brainstorm, strategize, collect, analyze, and report data to key stakeholders to affect change.

Past Summer Seminar Research Studies

  • Investigating the inequities between healthy and hazardous schooling environments
  • Redefining “highly qualified teachers”
  • Providing vigorous, rigorous, critical, and relevant curriculum
  • Redefining “adequate” learning resources in public education
  • Critically examining educational leadership and the quality of education in California

21st-Century Skills and Civic Participation

Through their work conducting surveys, reviewing academic research studies, analyzing statistical data, and coordinating countless semi-structured video and audio interviews, these youth develop skills in research, as well as all aspects of the 21st-century skills that are often discussed but rarely demonstrated in classrooms (critical thinking and problem solving, communication, collaboration, and creativity and innovation).

By engaging in graduate-level qualitative and quantitative research and reporting, students engage in civic participation, demonstrate their abilities to contribute to public discourse, and serve to oppose traditional narratives of deficit urban youths. These youth researchers have worked with LAUSD administrators and the office of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to address their findings at the school and community level. They have also presented their findings at various educational conferences across the country to highlight the importance of these issues plaguing urban education today.

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