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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Engaging Diversity and Marginalization through Participatory Action Research: A Model for Independent School Reform

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Authored by a university researcher, school practitioner, and high school student, this article examines how independent schools can utilize participatory action research (PAR) to bolster diversity and inclusion efforts. A case study approach was taken to showcase a two-year PAR project at a progressive independent school that sought to: (a) enrich institutional knowledge of student diversity, (b) capture the present-day schooling experiences of historically marginalized students in independent school settings, and (c) develop a dynamic action plan to ameliorate school issues that emerged through the PAR inquiry process. Committed to institutional research that informs school policy and practice, we argue that PAR provides a rigorous, student-centered, and democratic model for independent school reform.

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