How do you get started in community-engaged scholarship?

I’m a life long learner. I love learning. One topic I am learning more about is community-engaged scholarship. I’m reading, listening to podcasts, partnering with community members, inviting speakers to visit the class I’m teaching. Here are some thoughts on community-engaged scholarship that I learned from Brice Nordquist. I’ve shared them here in the form of a “zine” (mini-magazine).

What is community-engaged scholarship?
It’s about doing work together… Community-Engaged Scholarship is about the co-creation of knowledge. It’s about being in relationship. #relationship
OK – but how do I do it? (1) What do I want to be working on? (Go with what you re passionate about–passion is a key driver to successful and sustaining projects) (2) What expertise do I have? (You have many gifts. Are you an experienced classroom teacher? A researcher? A parent? A tutor? An Advocate? Bring your full self to the table)
How do I do it? (continued) (3) Who is interested in building a relationship around this? #connect (4) What are existing partnerships or networks?
Now come together around shared goals. This work was inspired by Brice Nordquist. The Zine was created by Nicole Fonger.

Some of my students are working on community-engaged projects. I encouraged them to fill out this “worksheet” to get their ideas on paper.

This this! Set a 5 minute timer, or your favorite song, and keep your pen moving the entire time. Don’t judge yourself with what you write down on paper. Let the words and ideas flow as you engage with the prompts and questions. See if within the five minutes you can write something for each block.

Community-Engagement Planning Table (1/1): (1) What is your topic? (2) What are your driving questions and goals? (3) Who is involved? (4) Where are you in the process?
Community-Engagement Planning Table (2/2): (5) What artifacts of research and/or practice are central to your work?

Students in a class I’m teaching (MTD 700 Linking Research and Practice in STEAM education) completed this exercise in class today. I’ve paraphrased some of their ideas for community-engagement here, and the “consulting” that I provided to them each in one-on-one conversations.

I want to help others who may experience anxiety in taking the mathematics content test that is required to become a math teacher.

Great – let’s connect you with current pre-service teachers in mathematics education at Syracuse University. I think your experience is invaluable to their success, you can share your experience, serve in a mentoring role, and share recourses specific to combatting math anxiety. – Prof. Fonger

I want to partner with others to support students and counselors of students. I want to distill the research in bite size pieces so that they can use it right away without needing to read lengthy articles to get to the research-informed practices.

I love your focus on both the students and the counselors of the students. I wonder which population you will focus on first. (Student: I will need to check with my partner) Sharing the power of decision making across all stakeholder groups is certainly apt. – Prof. Fonger

I want to learn from the crisis that happened in the state of Texas related to the recent power outages. I want to create lesson materials for mathematics teachers that link to some of these topics.

Great idea – this sounds connected to work discussed in the Teaching Mathematics for Social Justice published by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. They share lesson resources and templates of ideas for your to model this idea after. -Prof Fonger
Students discussing their project ideas at a cafe near campus. Sept. 2021.

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