Engaging students as researchers who examine teaching, learning, leadership, or anything to do with education is called participatory action research, or PAR.
Student researchers actively work to transform education during and after their research, and reflect throughout the process. Meaningful Student Involvement happens when PAR emphasizes co-learning among students and between students and adults, and embeds action with stated learning goals focused on students experiencing and transforming schools in new ways.
Examples of PAR
Students with Austin Voices for Education & Youth in Austin, Texas, want for their high schools and looks at how can they make their priorities heard during the reform process. At North High School in Denver, Colorado, The North High School Report shared more than 700 students’ perspectives on learning and teaching and school improvement efforts happening throughout their building. Students in Oakland, California with a program called REAL HARD designed and collected 1,000 report card surveys evaluating teaching, counseling, school safety and facilities at three Oakland high schools. The youth compiled their findings, analyzed the results, and made concrete recommendations to improve the schools in the Student Voices Count Report. Students with the East Point Youth Action Team in Fulton County, Georgia examine disparities and inequalities that exist between schools in the Northern and Southern regions of their county.