Students Turn the Tables on School Research -- And Do It Themselves
Voice of San Diego
By EMILY ALPERT
June 15, 2009
...are usually under the microscope in education research as scholars try to figure out how to raise their test scores or why they drop out. Now the teens are manning the microscopes. A fledgling extracurricular project, now in its third year in San Diego Unified, empowers students to study the inner workings of their own schools, from why teens skip tutoring to whether classes are interesting.
Trained by researchers from the University of California, San Diego, students at four different schools chose their own questions, learned to conduct interviews, gathered and analyzed data from surveys and classroom visits, and even explained their work at an annual conference for education wonks in the convention center downtown. The teens volunteered for the project and met roughly once a week after school.
"There is always debate about how to improve schools," said Makeba Jones, a project scientist at the Center for Research on Educational Equity, Assessment and Teaching Excellence at UCSD, who led the project along with fellow researcher Susan Yonezawa. "Who better to ask than the students themselves?"..