Guiding Principles

The work of all participants in KCAC--students, schoolteachers, and university scholars--follows several core principles drawn from American Studies and Literacy/Composition Studies.
  • Writing is a crucial tool for creating communities.
  • Collaboration is essential to keeping and creating community.
  • Students of all ages and teachers in all disciplines can engage in active, community-based research in their classrooms.
  • Authentic research is inquiry. Such research/inquiry could include analysis of:
    • photography
    • interviews and/or oral histories
    • archival records
    • site visits
  • Local communities continually redefine themselves in relation to national and sometimes international communities.
  • Many shared actions contribute to the formation of community cultures. These actions include:
    • organizing social activities:
      • holding festivals
      • sharing stories
      • reading and performing literary pieces
      • developing public policy
    • producing material culture
      • designing buildings
      • planning parks
      • organizing public exhibits
      • constructing neighborhoods
      • creating print publications
  • Proactive citizens recover, critique, and create community texts that reflect the dynamic values of local and larger communities.

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