Youth Voices, Public Spaces, and Civic Engagement: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Youth Voices, Public Spaces, and Civic Engagement

1st Edition

Edited by Stuart Greene, Kevin J. Burke, Maria K. McKenna


272 pages

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This collection of original research explores ways that educators can create participatory spaces that foster civic engagement, critical thinking, and authentic literacy practices for adolescent youth in urban contexts. Casting youth as vital social actors, contributors shed light on the ways in which urban youth develop a clearer sense of agency within the structural forces of racial segregation and economic development that would otherwise marginalize and silence their voices and begin to see familiar spaces with reimagined possibilities for socially just educational practices.


"At this historical moment when so much is wrong in the world, when untold numbers of youth in the US and globally know violence, neglect, and miseducation, the contributors to Youth Voices, Public Spaces, and Civic Engagement not only give us hope, they give us proof of the power of community-engaged, critically-turned, and equity-oriented scholarship. This volume provides compelling accounts of the creation, analysis, and, just as importantly, the sustenance over time of such educational programs both in and out of school. We see multiple examples in a range of contexts of how youth can be supported, as they come of age in challenging times, to develop ethically and aesthetically as well as intellectually, and to make their informed voices heard. But we also see modeled throughout this volume developmental paths for researchers and educators too, ones alert to the difficulty, possibility, and joy of genuinely collaborative work for social change."

Glynda Hull, University of California-Berkeley, USA

"In prioritizing youths’ voices, Youth Voices, Public Spaces, and Civic Engagement offers important lessons for educators and community partners in supporting the next generation of civic leaders."

Kathryn Obenchain, Purdue University, USA

"In a standardized, educational climate that stifles youth voice and lived experience, Youth Voices, Public Spaces, and Civic Engagement provides hope and demonstrates how the arts can promote democratic practice."

Sarah Montgomery, University of Northern Iowa, USA

Table of Contents

Introduction. Part I: Understanding Youth Perceptions of Civic Engagement and Resistance 1. Picturing New Notions of Civic Engagement in the U.S.: Youth-Facilitated, Visually-Based Explorations of the Perspectives of Our Least Franchised and Most Diverse Citizens Anthony Pellegrino, Kristien Zenkov, Melissa Gallagher, Liz Long 2. Speaking through Digital Storytelling: A Case Study of Agency and the Politics of Identity Formation in School Rebecca L. Buecher 3. "Truth, in the end, is different from what we have been taught": Re-centering Indigenous Knowledges in Public Schooling Spaces Timothy San Pedro 4. Publicly Engaged Scholarship in Urban Communities: Possibilities for Literacy Teaching and Learning Valerie Kinloch Part II: Creating Safe, Creative Spaces for Youth through Community Partnerships 5. "We want this to be owned by you": The Promise and Perils of Youth Participatory Action Research Lawrence T. Winn, Maisha T. Winn 6. Writing Our Lives: The Power of Youth Literacies and Community Engagement Marcelle M. Haddix, Alvina Mardhani-Bayne 7. "It help[ed] me think outside the box": Connecting Critical Pedagogy and Traditional Literacy in a Youth Mentoring Program Horace Hall, Beverly Trezek 8. Where Are They Now? An Intergenerational Conversation on the work of the Llano Grande Center for Research and Development Miguel Guajardo, Francisco Guajardo, Mark Cantu Part III: Literacies as a Civil and Human Right 9. Black "Youth Speak Truth" to Power: Literacy for Freedom, Community Radio, and Civic Engagement Keisha Green 10. Bilingual Youth Voices in Middle School: Performance, Storytelling and Photography Ruth Harman, Lindy Johnson, Edgar Escutia Chagoya 11. When Words Fail, Art Speaks: Learning to Listen to Youth Stories in a Community Photovoice Project Stuart Greene, Kevin Burke, Maria McKenna

About the Editors


Kevin Burke

Athens, Georgia, United States

Learn more about Kevin Burke >>

Stuart Greene is Associate Professor of English, University of Notre Dame, USA.

Kevin Burke is Assistant Professor of English Education, University of Georgia, USA.

Maria McKenna is Assistant Professor of the Practice, University of Notre Dame, USA.

About the Series

Routledge Research in Education

This series aims to present the latest research from right across the field of education. It is not confined to any particular area or school of thought and seeks to provide coverage of a broad range of topics, theories and issues from around the world.

Please send inquiries or proposals for this series to one of the following:

Will Bateman: [email protected] – Editor, UK and Rest of World

Elsbeth Wright: [email protected] – Editor, North & South America

Vilija Stephens: [email protected] – Editor, Australia & New Zealand

Katie Peace: [email protected] – Publisher, Asia


Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Teaching Methods & Materials / Language Arts
EDUCATION / Philosophy & Social Aspects
EDUCATION / Inclusive Education
EDUCATION / Learning Styles