Engaging Citizens and Transforming Designers: Analysis of a Campus-Community Partnership Through the Lens of Children’s Rights to Participation

Victoria Derr, Laura Healey Malinin, Meredith Banasiak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While an engaged citizenry is often the goal of community service learning, the rights of children to be active agents in this process are largely considered in a separate academic literature. Yet community service learning and children’s participation share much in their goals and approaches to engagement. This paper analyzes a campus-community partnership between undergraduate environmental design and middle school applied science students. The partnership began as a way to promote participatory design processes for the redesign of a middle school and evolved to a proactive co-design program. We describe the goals and approaches to service-learning employed through the partnership, and critique the evolution of the program through the realm of a participation model that has emerged from three decades of children’s participation research. By analyzing a campus-community partnership through this framework, we hope to deepen the discourse on approaches to and evaluation of successful service-learning programs.
Original languageAmerican English
JournalJournal of Community Engagement and Scholarship
StatePublished - 2016


  • Environmental Design
  • Urban, Community and Regional Planning
  • Community-Based Learning

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