From Failure to Inquiry: Three Problem-Solving Strategies for Community Literacy Researchers
Keywords:failure, community literacy, adaptive problem-solving, rivaling, critical incident interviews
AbstractFailure is a significant issue for researchers conducting community-engaged work. This article responds to calls to share research failures more transparently and to create reflective spaces for students to examine moments of failure. We offer our experience adapting three problem-solving strategies from a community literacy course (adaptive problem-solving, rivaling, and critical incident interviewing) to help each other revisit our own “failed” attempts at community-engaged work. By applying these problem-solving strategies to reflect on our experiences—advocating for graduate student parents, working with a summer literacy program, and collaborating with parents of disabled children—we show how these strategies can transform an initial sense of stigmatized failure into a longer process of inquiry and growth. Our approach, we believe, represents an important literate practice for community-based scholars, not only for those seeking to create more collaborative reflective space within university-community partnership, but also for novice scholars navigating the challenges of community-engaged work for the first time.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Amanda Tennant, Carolyn Commer, Mary Glavan
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