The central focus of this multilayered educational action research project was three-fold:
(1) to provide opportunities for public school student leadership activities grounded in participatory and youth participatory action research;
(2) to support a group of teacher-researchers in practicing and innovating in participatory action research frameworks;
(3) to practice linking an educational action research project in a local region to the larger movement for democratizing education knowledge production and dissemination.
Project participants included 11 teacher-researchers, a staff-developer, a consultant, a university-based faculty member, and students in K-8 schools in the Lehigh Valley region of Eastern Pennsylvania USA.
To move from a traditional top-down administrative and curricular decision- making model to a distributed and more democratic model of leadership, the team argues that
(1) children must be permitted to play a leading role in their own learning, leading, and researching;
(2) teacher offers significant advantages over traditional in-service based professional development models; and
(3) in an era of increased deskilling and deprofessionalization, teachers must have the opportunity to reclaim their profession as they conduct research, create new knowledge, and share their findings publicly.