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Youth Activism in an Era of Education Inequality$
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Ben Kirshner

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781479861316

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479861316.001.0001

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Teaching without Teaching

Teaching without Teaching

(p.107) 4 Teaching without Teaching
Youth Activism in an Era of Education Inequality

Ben Kirshner

NYU Press

This chapter is based on ethnographic research about youth activism in the San Francisco Bay Area. It examines how youth activists, who played key roles implementing complex social action campaigns, learned to do so without any teaching. How did youth learn to carry out campaigns? It discusses how learning happened opportunistically as the work unfolded. Learning scientists call this “just in time learning,” in reference to the notion that people learn what to do when they need to, in the situation that demands it. In recognition of this pattern in youth activism groups, the chapter explains adult guidance strategies in terms of three phases of campaign development: problem framing, sustaining the campaign, and public action. It also discusses how facilitation, apprenticeship, and joint work promoted different kinds of learning.

Keywords:   youth activism, young people, learning, teaching, social action campaigns, campaign development, facilitation, apprenticeship, joint work

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