SOE team and community partners publish first article on community learning and COVID-19

September 18, 2020

Together with community partners Carmen Turner, Kelly Hardy, Akeya Roper, and Candace Williams, SOE researchers Day Greenberg, Angela Calabrese Barton, Leslie Rupert Herrenkohl, Betsy Davis, and Tammy Tasker have published the first article out of their NSF Rapid Response Research (RAPID) study related to community learning and COVID-19. 


Community Infrastructuring as Necessary Ingenuity in the COVID-19 Pandemic,” available now for early viewing, is published by Educational Researcher. The team reports on how one community builds capacity for disrupting injustice and supporting each other during the COVID-19 crisis. The U-M researchers engaged their long-term community partners (parents, their youth, and local community center leaders) in on-going conversation on their experiences with the pandemic. They learned with and from community partners about how and what people in communities most vulnerable in this crisis learn about and respond to COVID-19 in highly contextualized ways, individually and through extended family groups and trusted social networks. The team reports on how they put understandings towards educated, organized, urgent community infrastructuring actions within informal coalition networks. They explore these actions as necessary localized responses to systemic neglect from dominant institutional infrastructures during a global pandemic.

The manuscript reports on initial findings from the first month of a larger study documenting what and how people learn about the COVID-19 pandemic in real time and how they activate this knowledge toward informed decision making. This larger study involves 60 participants across two metropolitan areas representing different geographic regions of the United States (30 from each city, 15 youth and 15 adults). Participants for the work were recruited from a Midwestern collaborative involving very-long-term, sustainable research-practice partnerships with multiple community-based institutions.

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Professor, The Learning Sciences and Science Education