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NIU prof publishes book on community-based qualitative research projects

May 25, 2016

Book cover of “Community-Based Qualitative Research: Approaches for Education and the Social Sciences” by Laura Ruth Johnson.Laura Ruth Johnson, associate professor in the NIU College of Education’s Department of Educational Technology, Research and Assessment, has published “Community-Based Qualitative Research: Approaches for Education and the Social Sciences.”

Johnson’s book is a practical text that integrates theoretical perspectives with guidelines for designing and implementing community-based qualitative research projects.

Coverage of participatory research designs and approaches is complemented by chapters on specific aspects of this research process, such as developing relationships and sharing findings to strengthen programs. Included are useful handouts and templates for applying to the reader’s own projects as well as end-of-chapter questions for self-reflection and class discussion.

Readers will find the book’s engaging case studies, interdisciplinary real-life examples, and insights from project participants as a helpful foundation for future work in the field.

Johnson teaches classes in qualitative research methods, including courses in ethnographic research, interview methods, and community-based and participatory action research.

Her research focuses on civic engagement and community involvement among Latino and African American youth, with a focus on young mothers. In her research, she collaborates with staff and students at an alternative high school in Chicago’s Humboldt Park community to help strengthen services and develop initiatives that focus on youth activism and intergenerational mentorship for young parents.

Her teaching and research also focus on the creation of community-university partnerships and the engagement of graduate students in community-based research projects.