The COVID-19 crisis exposes and exacerbates pre-existing inequities in our education system that aren’t being reported enough. Through a mixed methods student-led research approach, we aim to shed light on the student experience of navigating the pandemic in order to translate it into informed policy and practice decisions to better support the most marginalized students in our school system. The project began with a youth-designed survey that generated nearly 13,000 responses from all of Kentucky’s 120 counties.
A good portion of this week was spent on further learning how to present our data to prospective groups. From working on co-op reports, considering further breakdowns in both qualitative and quantitative analysis, preparing for interviews, and hosting a press conference, we learned additional ways to frame and present our data to different stakeholders in education.
This week we hosted the press conference, sharing our data, the main takeaways and suggestions, and answering questions from those who were listening. The process of getting ready for the press conference and hosting it, in addition to the enthusiasm and support of the team during the conference was super exciting and had everyone fired up.
In presenting our data at the press conference and through the co-op reports, we worked towards our deliverables as well as to getting our data to primary stakeholders. In addition, IRB board approval to conduct interviews was obtained and members of the interview team were trained and practiced in how to properly conduct an interview whilst keeping in mind ethics. All across the board, more detailed and deeper analysis of the data was made.
Our team has been very supportive of each other. This week, the core 7 aided in running the press conference and prepared for those who would be speaking. Hours of time was spent by the team in preparation. On the day of, the support from those watching on the Slack just created a positive environment that really shows this team growing closer together and a growing passion to not only work and share our data but to share the experiences of those who worked on it.
The inter-generational aspect of the study comes with great benefits but also great compromise. In planning the press conference, the ideas and thoughts of the students and that of the adults did not always see eye to eye. Yet communication and willingness to compromise certain points from both sides helped in making the press conference work. Understanding that both parties have a unique perspective and valuable input is essential to producing the best product possible.