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Dr. Julie Garlen’s new research project is awarded by Insight Development Grant

Updated: Mar 16, 2022

We are happy to announce that CUYR affiliate Dr. Julie Garlen’s research project, entitled ‘Girls in the Digital World’ is awarded by Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Insight Development Grant. Award Recipients for Insight Development Grants (February 2021 Competition) is officially announced earlier this week.

Girls in the Digital World is a research project that includes the participants directly in the research process as they will collaboratively explore and research their digital worlds by educating themselves and others. Participants between the ages of 10-12 who are girls (cis or trans) or gender diverse individuals will be recruited and included in the research project as the project seeks to fill an existing gap in social science research by implementing a Participatory Action Research (PAR) project with girls under the age of 13. The research project will consist of 90 minute weekly meetings on Monday evenings 5-6:30 p.m. from February 14- June 20 (excluding holidays and March break) and the participants will use a virtual makerspace to document their experiences in the digital world with all of the necessary materials being provided to them.

Participatory Action Research with girls

The girls will directly work with the research team of Dr. Julie Garlen throughout the research process and will be trained on how they can express their experiences in the digital world in an online toolbox, they will also showcase their research at an event for Girls in the Digital World, then their research and the process will be disseminated to the public and academia. Garlen indicates that “Inviting children to engage in this form of collaborative inquiry and activism is a way to acknowledge the value they can bring to research and social justice work”

Girls in the Digital World will offer new insights into participatory approaches to critical digital media literacy

Girls in the Digital World will contribute to academic knowledge by piloting a new methodological approach and expanding the scope of participatory action research to include children under the age of 13. This research project will offer new insights into participatory approaches to critical digital media literacy by proposing a model for engaging children in educating themselves and their peers about how to navigate their digital worlds. The participants’ reflections and findings will inform both the general public and academia about girls’ media experiences through their perspectives which will spread awareness of the need to confront social and emotional challenges associated with digital media usage. The project will also inform and transform social constructs of childhood as the girls’ agency and contribution as citizens will be the basis of the research.

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