Community-Academic Team-Teaching in a CBPR Course: Lessons Learned about Course Instruction

Online Publication Date:
September 9, 2022
Publication Status:
Published Article MUSE Link:
Manuscript PDF File:

**Published in Progress in Community Health Partnerships (PCHP) 17.2. All rights reserved.**

ABSTRACT Background and Objectives: Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) involves community and academic partners working collaboratively to understand and address local challenges. Undergraduates who engage in CBPR through a course can learn valuable research and professional skills, but we found no studies describing the experiences of community and academic partner instructors who have co-taught undergraduate CBPR courses. We describe lessons the instructors learned from collaboratively teaching one such course. Lessons Learned: The lessons we include highlight how community-academic team-teaching can: 1) provide unique opportunities to teach and model partnership and collaboration, 2) incorporate non-traditional learning opportunities for students to practice skills and engage in content reflection, 3) be challenged by differing community and academic priorities, and 4) surface power dynamics in the classroom that should be explicitly discussed. Conclusions: Community and academic partners can successfully team-teach in an undergraduate CBPR course and encourage the development of important skills that can be transferable to the real world. Focusing on offering traditional nontraditional learning opportunities and modelling partnership and collaboration can also facilitate this. Beyond these benefits, instructors considering a model like this should be prepared to intentionally engage in discussions within and outside the classroom about respective priorities and the ways in which knowledge that is traditionally valued in academic settings can create power dynamics in the classroom. Ultimately, structural supports, such as institutional funding for community partners and consideration of benefits to benefit community partners and organizations beyond the research itself can facilitate these types of collaborations.