(Kirshner, Ben - 2017) -- Chase Corporation Faculty Community Service Award
Award or Honor Receipt
When Ben Kirshner was working as an educator for the San Francisco Conservation Corps, he witnessed how poignant education can be when it takes place in the streets, public parks and community centers. He noticed that students who performed poorly in school often blossomed in a public setting, using critical thinking and complex planning to undertake community work projects. In the years since, his research has focused on expanding this insight into a fully developed pedagogy of public participation. Kirshner investigates how organized outside-of-school learning, including tutoring programs and youth groups, can improve students’ educational outcomes, especially for disadvantaged and minority communities. He is especially attentive to educational scenarios in which students work with adults to address systemic inequalities in their own communities. He puts this research into practice as the faculty director for CU Engage, the Center for Community-Based Learning and Research, by working to establish stronger relationships between the university and local community partners to meet public challenges. Professor Kirshner recently completed an international study of youth organizing, looking at cases in South Africa, Ireland and the United States. His book Youth Activism in an Era of Education Inequality received the 2016 Best Authored Book award from the Society for Research on Adolescence.