I am in the middle of writing the methodology chapter for my proposed design-based research study that will lead to my EdD dissertation. My current research questions are about how can critical place-based education be used to design a pedagogical framework which engages students in activism and can this framework increase students’ agency for activism.
I have come to understand that my desire to focus on how to increase student agency for activism comes partially from the lack of agency for activism that I have experienced in my own life. There are so many instances of me wanting to “do something” but not following through. I wanted to be a “Big Sister” but didn’t do it. I wanted to volunteer with animals or to clean up the local wetland conservation area in the spring. I wanted to save the world. Instead, I focussed on my family, or that’s what I told myself—as if the two where mutually exclusive. For example, I coached soccer for many years and became “Brown Owl” when my daughter was in Brownies. I made my children’s lives the best I could but I did not follow a personal passion for making the world a better place. I did a good job at being a mom and am proud of the wonderful adults my children have become. But it took joining a sorority for my daughter to learn service. It didn’t come from my example.
If I had participated in activism in school alongside my peers, and gained skills and knowledge on how to create positive change in my community, would things have been different? Would I have continued to volunteer or be civically engaged throughout university and into marriage and motherhood? I believed that personal fulfillment through service or “giving back” was my right and an opportunity would eventually just be presented to me on a silver platter. Of course this is not how the world works. I want students to know how important they are to the world right now and throughout their lives—how important their ideas are, their passions, their solutions. I want to help them develop the attitudes and tools to be able to be lifelong world-changers. #100LSreflections#100dayproject 5/100