The NYU Teacher Residency includes a Participatory Action Research (PAR) project as a major component of the immersive residency year. PAR projects are designed to foster teacher-student relationships and build a student-centered environment.
Recently, EdPrepMatters, a publication from the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, featured the PAR project of Lorraine Zhong. Lorraine graduated from the Teacher Residency in June 2020, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, after spending her residency year with Balboa High School in San Francisco Unified School District.
Christine Gentry, residency director and visiting assistant professor at NYU Steinhardt, explains in the article what this time was like for residents: “In March 2020, COVID-19 entered the residents’ PAR experience like a wrecking ball. I gathered with the other PAR instructors to decide how we were going to adjust the project for our residents, considering the radical change in access both to physical spaces and to the students in the PAR teams.”
“We ultimately decided to offer the residents two choices: a reflective path, in which they could craft a presentation on their team’s original plan and the progress they were able to make pre-COVID, and a virtual pilot path, in which they could adjust their projects to the virtual space we all suddenly found ourselves in. . . Lorraine Zhong, and her team of students chose to continue their project virtually.”
Lorraine’s student team focused their research on answering the question, “How can the stories of diverse individuals be used to promote kindness and respect among the school population?”