Education Faculty Part of Keynote Presentation Group
Drs. Jeff Liles and Jim Wood, Associate Professors in the St. John Fisher College Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. School of Education, are also founding members of the Rochester Participatory Educational Research Collaborative (RPERC), the group chosen to deliver the keynote presentation at the Diversity in Research and Practice Conference at Teachers College, Columbia University earlier this month.
The RPERC is a collection of East High School students and teachers, Nazareth College students and faculty, and Fisher students and faculty who are interested in conducting research in Rochester-area schools using a participatory action research model. In a departure from the traditional research model in which college faculty are the "experts" driving the research effort, RPERC’s model aims to be equally inclusive of all voices with power shared amongst students, teachers, administrators, parents, and community members. Two graduate students from the School of Education, Lyndsey Dibble and Jeremy Smith, are also members.
The group started meeting in the summer of 2011 to determine how this collaboration could address topics in schools for the mutual benefit of group members, the Rochester community, and the field of education.
“What is so special about this group is that the research questions, research, and presentations are done by the East High School students. The adults just act as guides and facilitators,” said Liles.
The high school students who are in the group are familiar with education issues, as they are enrolled in a special magnet program at their school called the Teaching and Learning Institute (TLI), which engages the students in critical questions about pedagogy, learning, and leadership in the community.