The Council of Youth Research
IDEA’s Council of Youth Research partners with Los Angeles high school students, teachers, and administrators to examine educational conditions in the city.
"If public questions were frequently being discussed by a local
community forum with widespread democratic participation by adults and
youth, then a good share of citizenship education could be brought
about by participation in those councils."
—John Dewey, 1937
The Council of Youth Research is a partnership between UCLA IDEA and Los Angeles high school students. The council provides students the avenue and tools with which to research and shed light on school and community issues that directly affect them. Council members are current Los Angeles Unified School District high school students who combine their personal life experiences with graduate-level research techniques to examine central questions impacting the lives of district students. The youth researchers have worked closely with LAUSD administrators, as well as the office of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Council members report their findings to officials and the broader public throughout the year.
The Council of Youth Research:
- Promotes a powerful model of civic education where youth learn about the rules and functions of government and acquire tools of investigation and public engagement that will be useful in future academic and civic endeavors.
- Contributes valuable insights and information to public debate in Los Angeles through students’ first-hand experience in schools and communities, as well as their uncensored access to other youth voices.
- Broadens and enriches Los Angeles civic life by infusing
youth voices into the public conversation and counters low levels
of voting and other forms of civic participation among Los Angeles
The 2010-11 Council began in July with the Summer Seminar. Students have been researching the changes seen and unseen since the 2000 filing of Williams v. California, a class-action suit that alleged the state and other agencies had failed to provide equitable access to learning materials, a safe and secure campus and qualified teachers. The suit was settled in 2004.
Results of the summer research will be shared with City Hall on Aug. 6.