Community-Based Research in the Classroom and Beyond

Vodden, Kelly and Gibson, Ryan and Brett, Linda and Noble, Tanya and Daniels, Jen (2013) Community-Based Research in the Classroom and Beyond. In: CU Expo 2013, June 12-15, 2013, Corner Brook, NL, Canada. (Submitted)

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Undergraduate students in geography, as with many other social science disciplines, are taught the principles of social and public policy, community resilience and development and other concepts and theories around creating a just and equitable society. However, rarely are these students provided with the opportunity to apply these principles to the very places they aspire to improve. Rarely do undergraduate students, who represent the emerging generation of new researchers, receive the training and support required to undertake research which is community-based in nature. Here, we define community-based research as those research initiatives which emerge from community and regional concerns and are taken up through partnerships between both community (governmental and/or non-governmental bodies) and university players. The community- based research that we focus on in this presentation is directly related to community and regional planning and development in rural Newfoundland and Labrador. We see tremendous value in encouraging and promoting community-based projects at the undergraduate level by involving students in the research process. This is a transformative process because it requires students to critically engage with those principles they have acquired in the university setting and broadens their understanding of community dynamics ‘on-the-ground’. However, this type of knowledge exchange is by no means a one-way process. Through investigating two different “community-classroom” projects offered in a third-year geography class at Memorial University, we illustrate that the knowledge exchange that has taken place benefited not only the students, but has also assisted community players as well as the instructors, reaffirming the value of bringing community-based research into the classroom.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Lecture)
Item ID: 1800
Department(s): Grenfell Campus > CU Expo 2013
Date: 13 June 2013
Date Type: Completion
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