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Augustus Hawkins Schools for Community Action

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Student Agency: Demonstrating Geo-Spatial Counter Narratives through Community Action Research

Welcome to Our Home Page

Hawkins - Every Student MattersThis work was born out of the collaborative efforts of many to address the disengagement many of our students experienced upon entering and continuing through high school. The formation of the Freshmen Preparatory Academy at Manual Arts, and more specifically the semester long Social Studies elective course, CAR Community Action Research, was a direct response to this reality and was what the TIIP grant was originally written to enhance. Yet, what began as a mere problem of instructional practice grew to the development of a year-long 9th grade course with units rooted in auto-ethnographic research, Geo-Spatial awareness, Youth Participatory Action Research and Civic Engagement. The work in developing this course quickly led to the realization that these practices will best benefit the students if they are experiencing such practices throughout their entire 4 year journey through Social Studies so we augmented our curriculum for World History, United States History, Government and Economics. The positive experience of going vertical to enhance the entire Social Studies program at our schools quickly gave rise to the possibilities of institutional promise which brought about the Schools for Community Action.  

When we first began collaborating under the TIIP grant, our team was focused on questions that face many educators: How can you engage students in authentic and transformational learning experiences that they will come to inherently value? How can you shape a curricular experience to embody student driven interest? Relevance? Empowerment? 

Two intense years later we are know part of a much larger network of educators asking: How can an institution provide more than mere access to transformative education? How can an entire school (or 4 small ones) help to empower not only a body of students, but the community surrounding them? 


SCA community Forum: Close up of task

Parents, community members, students and educators from the surrounding neighborhood utilized this task card to create a map of the dream school for their community. Utilizing geo-spatial activities, community members were able to provide a narrative that our design team members used to shape the design of the three small schools in place today at Augustus Hawkins HS. 


Instead of asking what types of lessons can be designed to support such visions of education, we have grown into asking what types of schools can be designed to connect the hopes and dreams of students, families, and communities. And thus, this work (Schools for Community Action), was born out of TIIP which is our attempt to create a specific Geo-Spatial Counter-narrative in South Central Los Angeles.  


Meet our Team

TIIP Team UCLA PresentationThis team is made up of Social Studies teachers working in the community of South Central Los Angeles. Click here to find out more about each Augustus Hawkins TIIP team member.



More detailed accounts of our experiences, where we teach and sample lesson plans can be found in the following links: 

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