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Participatory action research in schools: unpacking the lived inequities of high stakes testing

Tiffany DeJaynes (Lehman College, The City University of New York, New York, New York, USA)
Tabatha Cortes (New York University, New York, New York, USA)
Israt Hoque (Saint John’s University, Queens, New York, USA)

English Teaching: Practice & Critique

ISSN: 1175-8708

Article publication date: 24 June 2020

Issue publication date: 11 August 2020




This paper aims to examine a school-based Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) project on educational inequity and high stakes testing.


A former high school teacher (currently a university professor) and two former students (currently research assistants and university students) take up a youth studies framework to collaboratively resee multimodal artifacts from a tenth-grade course in qualitative research.


Findings illustrate the power of finding allies in peers and educators; the transformative power of deep participation; and the longitudinal nature of social change and action. Thus, this research demonstrates that when students are positioned as researchers, experts and knowledge producers, they can collaborate with one another, teachers and administrators to confront social inequities within their schools and beyond.


This study has value for applying critical, youth-centered pedagogies in secondary English language arts classrooms and schools.



DeJaynes, T., Cortes, T. and Hoque, I. (2020), "Participatory action research in schools: unpacking the lived inequities of high stakes testing", English Teaching: Practice & Critique, Vol. 19 No. 3, pp. 287-301.



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