What is YPAR?
For us, Youth Participatory Action Research means viewing the youth we work with as researchers and educators who contribute to this work equally—alongside teachers and Addressing Injustices team members. We continually try to blur lines in our work: between research and practice, between youth and adult perspectives, between education and activism, and between learning and teaching. We re-imagine curriculum side by side with students and recognize the youth involved in our projects as the world’s youngest teacher educators.
We understand ‘curriculum’ as something we make and remake, rather than a thing that we implement or evaluate. Curriculum in our work involves co-articulating our understandings intergenerationally, with the goal of democratizing teaching and learning. Our research involves co-creation in which we—students, teachers, researchers—collectively negotiate how we feel and respond to questions about social injustices. We draw on a wide range of representational and creative forms and ideas about how we can remake and represent our visions of a better world. In practice, we make observations, raise issues, and frame questions that we view as important and necessary. Then, we respond to these through a range of artistic and performative means.
”The experience I had doing this project was astounding.” - Youth Participant Researcher
"Working with these youth has changed the way I view myself as a teacher and how I interact with my students." - Teacher Candidate, OISE — University of Toronto
”It feels like when we’re here [doing this project] there is no such thing as age because we’re all talking to each other.” - Student, Delta Alternative Senior School