In a previous issue of Mind, Brain, and Education, Hinton and Fischer argue that educational research needs to be grounded in the lived realities of school life. They advocate for research schools as a venue for accomplishing this. The Center for the Study of Boys ’ and Girls ’ Lives represents an alternative model — a research collaborative among independent schools and university-based scholars. This article describes the Center ’ s experience with democratic, participatory action research. It discusses major roadblocks encountered doing such work, including difficulties selecting research topics collaboratively, epistemological differences in methods and design, the scarcity of time, and resistance to results when they challenge gender stereotypes or the status quo or involve student researchers. The article concludes with strategies for overcoming these roadblocks, including clearer, upfront negotiations with schools and a compact that specifies roles and responsibilities for both school and Center personnel.
Research Professor. Director at Learning Change Project – Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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