Occasional Paper Series

Call for Papers

Issue #53: Speculative Youth Action: Imagining Educational Futures Through Participatory Social Dreaming

Youth painting a mural

In Issue 53 of the Bank Street Occasional Paper Series, we will focus on productive ruptures associated with Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR). Productive ruptures are moments that go against typical outcomes and experiences of engaging in critical youth research and practice that are vital to the overall process. YPAR is an innovative approach that centers youth as they engage in research to address urgent problems in their own communities. YPAR pedagogy explicitly creates spaces for young people to investigate the root causes of injustice. Our goal in this issue is to open a space for dreamers of impossible possible futures, for those who speculate, and for the youth who bring speculation to action.

In this issue, we introduce Speculative YPAR, in which youth become architects of change, reshaping and redefining their futures beyond established boundaries. Speculative YPAR represents all critical youth research that treats reality as something constantly changing, where young people not only dissect existing narratives but actively co-create new narratives. It challenges linear, overly academic, product-driven YPAR accounts that serve the needs of the researcher over the youth. We want to hear how critical youth research and practices center speculation in (re)imagining educational futures that are equitable and just.

This call comes in response to the problem of youth, teachers, and community educators experiencing the academic discipline of YPAR as unattainable to them, even though they have been living YPAR organically for years. Through this call, we seek to return YPAR to those who live it. We insist that youth must be central to knowledge creation in research, theory, and practice. In practice, young people have always been behind social change. We welcome accounts of young people, preferably written or co-written by youth, challenging injustices through collective speculative actions and participatory social dreaming.  While academic pieces are welcome, we also encourage practitioners not directly associated with a university to submit pieces demonstrating how they work with youth to facilitate speculative youth action and participatory social dreaming. If you are part of a community-based organization, a teacher, a counselor, a community leader, a researcher, a parent, a grandparent, or an older sibling helping young people transform their school, community, and/or the world, then we want to hear from you.

We are interested in short films, audio essays, photo essays, and small-scale artistic products. We also accept essays and manuscripts (no more than 5000 words), Only unpublished pieces that are not under review by other publications are eligible for consideration. Although not required, we invite those interested to reach out to the editors to pitch ideas and receive feedback and support. For more information or if you would like to discuss your ideas, please contact guest editors Ricardo Martinez at rfm5798@psu.edu) or Ezequiel Aleman at ezequiel.aleman@utec.edu.uy.

Deadline for Submissions: June 1, 2024

Submission Guidelines