Zine-making as Social Action: Integrating Design and Self-Authorship in Civic LearningTraditional civic education is not taking advantage of potential design resources when preparing high school students, particularly Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) youth, in learning to see themselves as change agents – people who believe that they have the ability to transform society. Civics curricula of secondary schools that cater to historically marginalized communities tend to be hindered by district requirements, a lack of access to resources like design tools and techniques, and time limitations. These constraints limit teachers, students, and their communities’ access to civic knowledge and participation.
This thesis aimed to develop, test, and evaluate a pilot zine-making workshop toolkit to elevate creativity and student voice around civics and provide accessible, low-cost resources that are easy for teachers to implement. This toolkit, composed of guided activities and materials, serves as a supplementary resource to Equitable Futures, an existing project-based teaching and learning program for high school students in social studies to explore and understand the impact of social injustices in their local region and connect historical learnings to their own lived experiences.
In collaboration with Equitable Futures, two high school teachers, and students from Arts Academy in the Woods and Fordson High School in Metro Detroit, this thesis deployed a cross-disciplinary, integrative design approach that combined design-based research (DBR) from the field of education with co-design from the field of design to inform the development of a collaborative teaching and learning intervention in a local high school civics classroom.