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									                       Community-Based Research for Youth Development
                                   (EDUC 4800 - Sec 803)

             A two-semester sequence in community-based research (3 credits per semester)

                    Fall 2007                                              Spring 2008
              Tue/Thurs: 12:30 – 1:45                                         TBD

Instructor                                                      Graduate Research Assistant
Ben Kirshner, PhD                                               Kristen Pozzoboni
Room 215, School of Education                         
Office hours: 10:30 – 12:15, Thursdays OR by                    UROP Research Assistant
appointment                                                     Chelsea Bridges                             

This upper-level course is designed for undergraduates who are interested in some of the following topics:

               Community engagement                                   Youth development
                 Applied research                                       Social justice
                  Service learning                                        Education

                                           Course Description

In this class you will learn how to carry out an authentic, high quality research project that meets a
community need. Projects will involve partnerships with youth-serving agencies in the Boulder area. Be
prepared to devote time outside of the class to working with a partner organization. For example, you
might collaborate with a school to assess how students perceive its diversity curriculum. Or you might
work with a youth development agency to help evaluate its outreach programs and make
recommendations for how services could be improved. Projects will be created based on community
needs, student capacity, and the extent to which they contribute to increasing equity or social justice. You
do not need to have prior experience doing applied research – but you do need to be interested in learning
about it! By the end of the course you will learn skills that will serve you well in graduate school and
professional contexts, such as:

       How to carry out community-based research (e.g., interviews, focus groups, field notes,)
       How to develop collaborative relationships with organizations
       Effective approaches to promoting youth and community development
       How to write a research paper for public consumption based on original data

                                              Course Virtues

       Authentic engagement – Become intrinsically motivated in complex, open-ended projects that
        require engagement with the community; carry out high quality work because you value the
        outcome for community partners and your own learning.

       Collaboration – Be prepared to cooperate with others in accomplishing the work; communicate
        your needs and listen to the needs of others; be respectful towards other students’ ideas,
        participate in discussions and small group tasks; ask for clarification; address your comments and
        questions to each other as much as to the instructor; learn from each other.

       Professionalism – Meet deadlines; respond to email promptly; show up on time; communicate
        with partner sites and each other; follow-through on agreements with partner sites; be flexible in
        response to changing circumstances.

       Intellectual curiosity – Be open to new ideas; ask questions when you’re not sure you
        understand; try thinking about things in new ways.

       Self-reflection – Assess your strengths and weaknesses; reflect on what you are learning; set
        goals for your learning.

                                                 CU Learn
This course will rely on CU Learn for course assignments, readings, and other resources, such as links to
CBR websites. All readings (aside from the two required books) are posted there. All assignments will be
posted there. Unless otherwise notified, please submit all written assignments to CU Learn. You will
receive written feedback electronically. We may use CU Learn for other purposes as well (as I learn how
it works).

                                           Required Readings
There are two required books for this course. Books are available for purchase in the CU bookstore and
online. All other readings are posted on CU-Learn.

        Boyte, H. (2004). Everyday politics. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

        MacLeod, J. (1987/1995). Ain’t no makin’ it. Boulder: Westview Press.

                                            Attendance policy
You are expected to attend every class. I understand that over the course of the semester you may get sick
or you may experience one or two conflicts that you cannot fix. In those cases, you should notify me in
advance and I will count these as “excused.” If you miss class you are responsible for information
conveyed during the class (including assignments). More than two absences, however, is not acceptable
because of the format and interactive nature of this class. Missing more than two classes will jeopardize
your semester grade and could result in lack of credit for the class.

                                     Policy regarding late assignments
It is essential that you complete and turn in assignments on time because they are designed to build on
one another and they will form the groundwork for our class discussions. Late assignments will be
accepted only if you have received approval in advance.

                                       Reasonable accommodation
Disability: If you qualify for accommodations because of a disability, please submit to me a letter from
Disability Services early in the semester so that your needs may be addressed. Disability Services
determines accommodations based on documented disabilities. To contact Disability Services, call (303)
492-8671 or view

Religious Obligations: University policy is for teaching faculty to make every effort to accommodate all
students who, because of religious obligations, have conflicts with scheduled exams, assignments, or
other required attendance, provided they notify instructors well in advance of the scheduled conflict.

EDUC 4800 syllabus                                                                                           2
Whenever possible, students should notify faculty at least two weeks in advance of the conflict to request
special accommodation. The campus policy can be viewed at

Student Honor Code: A Student Honor Code system has been implemented in all schools and colleges
and students should be familiar with these new policies and procedures. You can view the honor code
information at

Sexual Harassment Policy: The University of Colorado Policy on Sexual Harassment applies to all students,
staff and faculty. Sexual harassment is unwelcome sexual attention. It can involve intimidation, threats,
coercion, or promises or create an environment that is hostile or offensive. Harassment may occur between
members of the same or opposite gender and between any combination of members in the campus
community: students, faculty, staff, and administrators. Harassment can occur anywhere on campus, including
the classroom, the workplace, or a residence hall. Any student, staff or faculty member who believes s/he has
been sexually harassed should contact the Office of Sexual Harassment (OSH) at 303-492-2127 or the Office
of Judicial Affairs at 303-492-5550. Information about the OSH and the campus resources available to assist
individuals who believe they have been sexually harassed can be obtained at:

                                  Description of Work – Fall Semester

Participation in discussions and decisions

Readings and conceptual understanding
    Reflective essays (2) and activities
    Expository essay: Principles of CBR
    Homeworks
    Documentation of fieldwork/readings
    Students’ Guide to CBR (part 1)

CBR project development*
   Relationship development with CBR partners
   Documentation of fieldwork/readings (same as above)
   Communication with your team
   Research proposal

*Most aspects of project development will be completed in small teams.

Participation in discussions and decisions

    This class will be a group endeavor. We will talk about readings, reflect on our learning, and make
    joint decisions about the projects. It might remind you of putting on a play, being on a sports team, or
    engaging in some kind of sustained social action project. Just like those kinds of activities, your
    participation will be essential. We’ll talk more in class about participation norms – they include a
    willingness to speak up and also to step back and listen to others.

Readings and conceptual understanding

       Reflective journal and activities

EDUC 4800 syllabus                                                                                         3
   On several occasions throughout the semester you will be asked to reflect on what you are learning
   and doing – sometimes in writing and sometimes in discussions. Sometimes these reflections will be
   shared with fellow students, sometimes with the instructor, and sometimes with Kristen Pozzoboni
   (the graduate research assistant who is supporting the class).

      Principles of CBR paper

   This is a 4-5 page paper that demonstrates your interpretation of CBR principles. Details will be
   handed out in class.

      Homeworks

   Periodically there will be short assignments that are needed for the upcoming class. These shouldn’t
   take more than 15-30 minutes to complete and are listed in the syllabus.

      Students’ Guide to CBR (part 1)

   This class is part of an emerging field still identifying best practices. We can contribute something to
   that emerging field by creating a students’ guide to CBR. My hope is that the experience of creating
   this guide will provide an opportunity for your reflection and deeper learning. The final draft of this
   document will be due in the spring semester, but we will get started on it this fall. It should be user-
   friendly, creative, and engaging to read. The length is up for discussion. My sense is that it will be
   somewhere between 5 and 10 pages. The final document will be created by the whole class.

CBR project development

      Relationship development with CBR partners

   Building a project in collaboration with CBR partners requires a foundation of relationships. There
   will be several assignments related to building this relationship – ranging from sending thank you
   notes to meeting with your liaison. Most importantly, you will be expected to make at least 3
   fieldwork visits in the first semester (in addition to 1-2 meetings to work out details of your research
   plan). You will receive coaching in this kind relationship building – it might mean hanging out there
   without any meeting scheduled; it might mean doing a service activity; it might mean taking time to
   find out what motivates people at the site, it might mean completing a short-term research task needed
   by the agency. Regardless, it will take time and you should prepare for that.

      Fieldwork visits and documentation

   As part of your fieldwork you will be expected to type reflective notes about what you observe and
   make connections to our readings about youth development. These three written documents will
   comprise data for your research project and will also assess your understanding of the readings.

      Communication with your team

   You will work in groups of 2-4 on your CBR projects. This will require you to communicate
   regularly with each other and your course “coach” (Ben or Kristen) both in class and over email. You
   will need to coordinate schedules with each other in the event that you need to be at the site at the
   same time.

      Research proposal (5-7 pages)

EDUC 4800 syllabus                                                                                            4
    You are responsible for developing a detailed research plan to propose to your CBR site. You should
    expect at least two revisions – first after feedback from Ben or Kristen and then in response to
    feedback from your partner site. Your research plan will include: 1) research questions; 2) research
    methods; 3) schedule for time spent at the site; 4) what you need from the partner site; 5)
    communication plan (how you will communicate your findings); 6) anticipated uses of data (how you
    think it could be useful); 7) how your project relates to relevant youth development literature.


Grading will be different in this class. You will not receive letter grades on your assignments, but your
work will be assessed and commented upon. You will receive written feedback on all of your
assignments, as well as summative feedback at the end of the semester. I will provide clear expectations
for what constitutes excellent work for various assignments. To the extent that your work does not meet a
threshold of excellence I will let you know how it can be improved. All students will be expected to
receive an A for the course. If your work and participation does not meet this standard by the end of the
fall semester than you may not be invited to continue in the spring semester.

A word about the course calendar and assignments

This will be a demanding course – intellectually, interpersonally, and also in terms of your time. You will
be expected to read, reflect, and interact with your colleagues. During several occasions in the semester
you will be expected to either meet with your partner site liaison or spend time at your partner site
observing and helping out. For these reasons, read the calendar and assignments carefully. Be sure you
have organized your schedule so that you can meet these expectations.

                                      Project Development Timeline

September                  October                    November                    December

Open house with            Build relationships with    Develop research plan      Finalize MOU with
potential partners         partner sites                                          partner sites
                                                       Collect data
Decide on partners         Begin fieldwork                                        Develop research

January                    February                   March                       April/May

Collect data               Collect data                Analyze data: Identity     Complete final paper
                           Analyze data                                           Share findings with
                                                       Share preliminary          community partner
                                                       findings with partner      through report and
                                                       sites                      presentation

EDUC 4800 syllabus                                                                                        5
                                            Course Calendar

        My goal is to organize our meetings such that Tuesday meetings focus on readings/concepts
         and Thursday meetings focus on project development. For this reason all readings are expected
         to be completed by Tuesday’s class unless otherwise specified.

        There are some readings still “TBD” (to be determined). Also, because we are still establishing
         community partnerships, this schedule will likely go through some changes. I will be sure to
         communicate any changes promptly to you.

        Week                    Assignment                                      Readings


August 29, 31                                              What have been your experiences with research
                                                           (or academic course-work in general)?
                                                             Awuor, “Graduate field work: a reflection
                                                              from Nairobi Kenya”
                                                             Brown, “Social science and environmental
                                                             Strand et al., Community-based research and
                                                              higher education: Preface, Chapter 1
                                                             Course syllabus

Sept 4, 6             Reflective essay #1 due Tues,        For Tuesday
                       Sept 4 (300-350 words)                Kahne & Westheimer, “In the service of
Models of                                                     what?”
Community                                                    McKnight, “Professionalized service and
Engagement                                                    disabling help”

                                                            For Thursday
                                                             Weinberg, “Negotiating community-based
                                                             Strand et al., Community-based research and
                                                              higher education: Chapter 2

Sept 11, 13           HW due Tues, Sept 11: Find and          Willis et al, “The undergraduate perspective”
                       bring example of CBR from web           Gottlieb, “Janitors and dry-cleaners”
Community-                                                     Horton, from The long haul: p. 13 – 45
Based                 Reflective interview with Kristen       Strand et al., Community-based research:
Approaches:            completed by Sept 14                     Chapter 3
Research and

EDUC 4800 syllabus                                                                                         6
     Week                      Assignment                                 Readings
Sept 18, 20         HW due Tues, Sept 18: Prepare        Horton, from The long haul: 88 – 112
                     short introduction of 1 visiting     Boyte, Everyday politics: Preface, Chapters
CBR and              agency                                1-3
Public Work
                    OPEN HOUSE WITH                     Optional resource
                     COMMUNITY PARTNERS                   Squires & Willett, “The fair lending

Sept 25, 27         OPEN HOUSE WITH                      Boyte, Everyday politics: Chapters 4–6
                     COMMUNITY PARTNERS                   Franquiz, “Casa Esperanza”
Building                                                  WestEd, “Starting a community partnership”
Relationships I     Partnerships: Reflection on
                     presentations and Thank you
                     letters due Tuesday, October 2

Oct 2, 4            Expository essay on principles of    Boyte, Everyday politics: Chapter 7
                     CBR due Tues, Oct 2                  TBD readings on communication
Relationships II

Oct 9, 11           Partnerships: Meet with partner      Boyte, Everyday politics: Chapter 8
                     agency by 10/12; submit              TBD readings on evaluation/fieldwork
Intro to             fieldwork schedule to instructor
Fieldwork/                                               Optional resource
Evaluation                                                Stoecker, “Making connections”


Oct 16, 18                                                  Lerner et al, “Positive youth development”
                                                            Damon, “Social development,” (p. 271-285)
Adolescent                                                  Nakkula, “Identity and possibility”
Development                                                 Arnett, “Cognitive foundations,” 63-88 +

Oct 23, 25          Fieldwork/reading reflection #1      MacLeod, Ain’t no makin’ it: Chapters 1 - 3.
                     due on Thurs, Oct 25                 Flores & Benmayor, “Introduction”
Social Context
of Adolescence

Oct 30, Nov 1       Fieldwork/reading reflection #2      MacLeod, Ain’t no makin’ it: Chapter 4-5
                     due on Thurs, Nov 1                  Sánchez, “Coming of age across borders”

EDUC 4800 syllabus                                                                                    7
     Week                     Assignment                                       Readings
Nov 6, 8            Partnerships: Submit rough draft        MacLeod, Ain’t no makin’ it: Chapter 6
                     of research proposal to instructor      Delpit, “Teaching other people’s children”
Schools              November 8                              Valenzuela, “Subtractive schooling…”
                                                             DeJesus et al., “Urban students tackle
                                                              research on inequality”

                                                          Optional resource
                                                           Rothstein, “Reforms to…narrow the
                                                            achievement gap”

Nov 13, 15          Partnerships: Revised research        Eccles & Gootman, “Features of positive
                     proposal due to partner site by        developmental settings”
Youth                Thurs, Nov 15                         Flores-Gonzalez, “From hip-hop to
Organizations                                               humanization”
                                                           McLaughlin, “Community counts”

Nov 20, 22
NO CLASS                   Thanksgiving week                              Thanksgiving week

Nov 27, 29          Partnerships: Revise research         Ginwright & James, “From assets to agents
                     plan in light of feedback              of change”
Equity and                                                 Hart, “Children’s participation”
access for youth    Fieldwork reflection #3 due on        MacLeod, Ain’t no makin’ it: Chapters 7-8
                     Thurs, Nov 29                          (112-150).
(BK at
conference Nov
Dec 4, 6            Partnerships: Signed MOU with         Boyte, Everyday politics: Chapters 9 – 10.
                     partner agency by 12/7                Connell & Gambone, “Youth development”
Topic TBD

Dec 11, 13          Reflective essay #2 due Tues,         Readings TBD
                     Dec 11
Topic TBD
                    Students’ Guide to CBR (part 1)
                     due Thurs, Dec 13

EDUC 4800 syllabus                                                                                         8

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