Publication Date: July 3, 2020
New research points to the future of education as online, student-centered, collaborative, and community-based—all largely absent from today’s educational landscape. Use this timely guide to show middle, high school, and college students how to undertake research to address challenges in their curriculum and communities. The approach is deliberately designed to make it easy to bring ethical thinking and analytical problem solving to the social studies and STEM curricula, as well as to experiential and inquiry-based learning such as project-based and service learning.
Organized around the steps in the social science research method, each step can be linked to curriculum and national standards and taught individually as stand-alone lessons or sequentially as part of a semester or yearlong research seminar. The text includes sample lesson plans, assignments, research questions, research tools, and research reports, as well as examples of concrete policy implementation and the kinds of evidence that can be used to assess and evaluate student work.
William Tobin is a civil rights attorney and research fellow with the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University. Valerie Feit is co-director of school counseling and enrichment coordinator for Rye Neck, New York School District.
“Tobin and Feit provide a promising method, one they have used for more than a decade, for doing ethical research with students in classrooms and communities. The authors not only show that ethical thinking in research can be integrated into the existing curriculum, but also describe how it opens up avenues for positive action beyond the classroom.”
—Teachers College Record
“We need this book. Tobin and Feit have crafted a profound and practical vision of democratic education. They explain why and how to help youth improve their communities by leveraging capacities for investigation, analysis, self-awareness, and ethical assessment. Their detailed resources provide powerful support for those inspired to pursue these aims.”
—Joseph Kahne, Dutton Presidential Chair for Education Policy and Politics, University of California, Riverside
“Tobin and Feit’s new book provides educators with a powerful resource for engaging students in participatory research. It is a practical guide in the best sense—offering tools for reflection and action and critical questions about what it means to empower youth in an ethical way.”
—John Rogers, professor of education and director of UCLA IDEA
“Timely, needed and fresh, Student Research for Community Change provides strategies on how students can become engaged self-navigators and contributing citizens encountering authentic challenges in their communities and the larger world. Exquisitely reasoned pedagogy backs the authors' Tools for Learning model. What is particularly impressive are the wealth of striking examples from high school students displaying confidence and insight as they engage in a remarkable array of investigations. These learners are lit. Compelling and imaginative, this is a must-read for any educator wanting to help their learners ‘be’ ethical, analytic, and enthusiastic about facing the future.”
—Heidi Hayes Jacobs, president, Curriculum Designers, Inc., Rye, NY
What Is Tools for Change?
What Is the TfC Guide?
How to Use the TfC Guide
Research = Inquiring with Intention
TfC Research Steps:
Step 1. Perspective: Developing Engaged Perspectives
Step 2. Question: Identifying and Framing Empirical Research Questions
Step 3. Conversation: “Conversing” with other Researchers and Writing a Literature Review
Step 4. Design: Developing a Plan to Collect Data to Answer a Research Question
Step 5. Data: Researching with Integrity: Ethical Data Collection
Step 6. Analysis: Analyzing Data to Answer a Research Question
Step 7. Implementation: Putting New Knowledge to Use
Appendix A: Student Self-assessment Rubric Elements
Appendix B: Seeing and Being Rubric
Appendix C: Student Team Leadership Rubric
About the Authors