Humboldt Journal of Social Relations


This article explores the potential for high-impact learning practices—and specifically student-faculty collaborative research—to address inequality in U.S. institutions of higher education. In theory, student-faculty research holds much promise for promoting diversity and social justice in higher education. This high-impact practice reflects ideals around collaboration and mentoring, and offers a more egalitarian approach to the traditional student-faculty power relationship. In practice, however, collaborative research runs the risk of reproducing inequality, thereby undermining its transformative potential. Drawing upon bell hooks’ (1994) notion of radical pedagogy, and in the spirit of being equity-minded, I propose a short-term version of student-faculty collaborative research. This truncated approach is an effort to ameliorate some of the barriers associated with traditional collaborative research, and provides a model for critically assessing how educational “best practices” can reproduce, as well as disrupt, inequality in higher education.