Research: The REDI Team

REDI

Research, Evaluation, Development & Innovation

The Center For Literacy’s Research, Evaluation, Development and Innovation (REDI) team is an integrated unit that conducts community-engaged research and evaluation within CFL and with community partners on issues related to educational equity and multigenerational literacy. Our work is guided by a core set of humanizing research principles. We seek to advocate for and support communities with which we work through our research, develop relevant and innovative multigenerational literacy models and practices, and nurture the next generation of education scholars through providing UIC Graduate students with mentorship and research internships.

We do this through several strands of programming, as seen in the model above.

REDI Mission Statement

 

 

REDI Program Strands

  • Graduate Student Mentoring Program: Graduate students from the UIC College of Education work as co-researchers, instructors, and volunteers at CFL. All graduate students are a part of the CFL Graduate Student Mentoring program in which they receive support on research, practice, and writing.
  • Literacies Across the Lifespan (LAL) Journal: A peer-reviewed, CFL graduate-student run journal, LAL highlights scholarship in multigenerational literacy practices and serves as a space for graduate students to gain experience in writing and publishing research.
  • Community Research Partnerships: CFL partners with institutions, community-based organizations, and non-profits to research multigenerational literacy and educational equity.
  • Practitioner-Engaged Research on CFL Programming: At CFL we learn from what we do and use this knowledge to grow and improve our work. Using community-engaged and practitioner inquiry research models, we seek to develop research-informed practices.
  • Conferences & Convenings: CFL convenes scholars and stakeholders to learn about, discuss, and examine issues related to educational equity and multigenerational literacy.
  • Literacy Assessments & Evaluations: CFL partners with CBOs and institutions that seek to conduct literacy assessments and evaluations in their programs. .

Research Principles

  • Humanizing research; systemic understanding of equity. We take a humanizing approach to research. This means that when we study problems, we do not take deficit perspectives on individuals (i.e. from what’s “wrong” with an individual), rather, we seek to understand what’s wrong at the systemic level, such as with societal factors and/or policies that affect/impact the individual.
  • Prioritize community-driven research partnerships. We invite communities with which we work to help us identify and prioritize key what we research and how the research should be done. We develop partnerships in intentional and culturally competent ways to ensure a level of self-awareness and awareness of others. In community-engaged projects, we seek to community participation to engage in this work along with us as co-researchers.
  • Transparency in communicating the process and product of research. We work to provide all stakeholders in the community with the opportunity to see, share, and understand totally the process of our research and the results. We work to be transparent with what we are doing and how we are coming to the conclusions of our research, plus who it will benefit.
  • Research as advocacy work. We look to conduct research that is action-oriented used to make a difference in the communities we serve. We communicate research outcomes to advocates and decision makers. We seek collaborative partnerships with other communities doing this work, with the knowledge that large-scale change only happens if we work together.