Participatory action research for high school students: Transforming policy, practice, and the personal with social justice education

Julio Cammarota, Augustine Romero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

47 Scopus citations


The authors discuss how participatory action research (PAR) informs the pedagogy and epistemology of the social justice education. PAR facilitates students' engagement in their social context and acquisition of knowledge to initiate personal and social transformation. The scope of research contains knowledge about social justice issues negatively influencing the students' experiences. This knowledge is essential for what has been described as social justice youth development in which young people participate in practices geared toward achieving an egalitarian world with safe, vibrant neighborhoods that support healthy,positive youth identities. The article is based on program evaluation data collected for progress reports mandated by the project's financial backers. Funding supports technical assistance provided by the university in the way of teaching students qualitative research methods. The authors' roles involve both assisting the course instructor with teaching methodologies and collecting data for evaluative purposes. High school students in small project groups (five to six members) conduct participatory action research with the intent of transforming the personal, policies and practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)488-506
Number of pages19
JournalEducational Policy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2011



  • latino students
  • participatory action research
  • secondary education
  • social justice
  • urban education
  • youth development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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