Research methods


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Dr Birute Briliute Presentation 3rd July

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Research methods

  1. 1. Parish MissionResearch MethodsDr Birute BRILIUTE03/07/2010<br />Research to make a difference to your work<br />1<br />
  2. 2. Summary<br />This part of the session will provide a short introduction to survey research and statistical analysis. It covers sampling, questionnaire design, survey interviewing and questionnaire construction, and takes a brief look at qualitative methods.<br />It will introduce you to simple tables and tests of significance, and analysis of tables.<br />
  3. 3. 3<br />Aims<br />To draw together themes from previous modules<br />To offer a guided study approach to the students in order to introduce them in to methods in social, pastoral, psychological and religious/spiritual research<br />To help them construct and conduct a research project (e.g. a survey), which demonstrates the student’s understanding of principles and their practical outworking in Parish life.<br />
  4. 4. Learning Outcomes<br />By the end of this session students should be able to:<br />outline the range of methods that are used in social and religious research and place the survey style within it; <br />design a research project on a topic of your own choice in the survey style of research; <br />discuss the legal and ethical implications of your research; <br />4<br />
  5. 5. Learning Outcomes<br />You will learn to:<br />extract and present information from published Church/parish research statistics; <br />carry out a brief literature review for it; <br />carry out tabular analysis of a data set;<br /> summarize and present results in a variety of formats<br />
  6. 6. 6<br />Why to do a Survey in the Parish?<br />Before starting a research you have to ask yourself few important questions:<br />
  7. 7. What I want to achieve with it?<br />Are my research goals moral and ethical?<br />Will it not harm/offend anyone?<br />Will this work make any difference in my parish?<br />Am I ready to face possible difficulties in my work?<br />Do I seek to offer recommendations for a better service<br />In the parish?<br />What are my other motives to do the research? <br />
  8. 8. 8<br />What do you want from your research?<br />What context/situation needs examining?<br />What is the background in existing thinking (literature review etc.)<br />What information do you want to find out?<br />What learning are you seeking?<br />What questions do you need to ask?<br />How do you need to ask them?<br />
  9. 9. Am I trying to explore the deeper meaning….by<br />….talking <br />with each <br />other <br />about <br />all these <br />things <br />that had happened…..<br />
  10. 10. Listening & hearing what they say… Leaving my own ‘agenda’ behind…. Is my starting point is theirs starting point?… Am I ready to follow them ?…<br />What are you discussing with each other <br />while you walk along?’<br /> ‘Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem <br />who does not know …..<br />
  11. 11. Looking at our situation, am I ready to face:<br />That the Church lives in a pluralistic and secularised world<br />Different forms of unbelief and religious indifference<br />Vibrant expressions of religious pluralism<br />Cultural pluralism<br />Will my work bring to thepeople:A Catechesis or Evangelization impregnated with the spirit of the Gospel?<br /> ‘language adapted to the times and to the hearers.’<br />General Directory <br />for catechesis, 193-194<br />
  12. 12. Looking at our situation<br />Pick and mix society<br />What do you think are two of the major problems with a ‘pick and mix’ approach to Catholicism and what opportunities for a new approach might they present?<br />We stand on thresholds<br />Name three attitudes (not actions), which we need to develop if we are to meet people as they stand on various thresholds.<br />Don’t be afraid of:<br />Searching for God on the boundaries<br />Counter values to the gospel<br />Positive and negative aspects of the media<br />Mobile physically and mentally<br />An individualistic society<br />
  13. 13. Open your eyes to the world….<br />
  14. 14. Looking at our situation: be ready to face difficult questions:<br />Can your Church help me?<br />What is your faith about?<br />Do not start with your doctrines!<br />Show me the way to contentment, integrity and fulfilment…<br />Show me the meaning in my life<br />With my mortgage<br />Feed my kids<br />Get a job<br />Find the place to live<br />Get my children to a good school?<br />Deal with my boss?<br />Find a companion/wife/husband…<br />Cope with my loss…<br />To adopt a child or to have my own<br />To help my aging parents<br />To deal with my teenagers<br />Yes, our Church can help you with all of that.<br />I will be a companion on your journey…<br />Meeting people with all their imperfections of belonging reminds us of ‘the adaptation of doctrinal presentations and catechetical methods required by the differences of culture, age, spiritual maturity and social and ecclesial condition among all those to whom [catechesis] is addressed.’<br />Catechism of the Catholic Church, 24<br />
  15. 15. Embrace the reality<br />Do not close your eyes…<br />Deal with it… <br />These people are hungry to hear a Good News…<br />
  16. 16. Ask yourself: How can we help people to see where God is active in our world?<br />‘The fundamental importance is the dialogical approach which, while recognising that all are called tothe obedience of faith, (Rom 1:5), respects the basicfreedom and autonomy of adults and encourages them to engage in an open and cordial dialogue. In this way they can make known their needs and participate, as they should, as subjects or agents in their own catechesis and that of others.’<br />Adult Catechesis in the Christian Community: Some principles and Guidelines, 57<br />
  17. 17. What might God be saying?<br />‘The joy and hope, the grief and anguish of the men of our time, especially of those who are poor or afflicted in any way, are the joy and hope, the grief and anguish of the followers of Christ as well.’<br />Vatican II The Church in the Modern World, 1<br />Discover where God is at work<br />Finding the right sort of approach<br />Entering the brokenness and tension of people’s lives<br />Responding to uncertainty<br />How we might be asked to change<br />
  18. 18. Our attitude<br /> ‘Faith is a gift destined to grow in the hearts of believers. Adhering to Jesus Christ, in fact, sets in motion a process of continuing conversion, which lasts for the whole of life.’<br />General Directory for Catechesis, 56<br />We cannot teach everythingMature catechesis – respecting differences<br />Letting go in faithAccepting brokennessRespect God’s catechetical activityJourneys which meetAffirming what is known Looking for the good Challenging in loveLetting goLeave the door ajarWe learn after the event<br />
  19. 19. Looking at our situation<br />Feel strong in your own faith…<br />Do not be afraid…<br />Do not feel inadequate…<br />Women selling her daughter for money to get drugs… What does Church will give me? She was laughing <br />
  20. 20. Research methods<br />Qualitative vs Quantative research methods<br />Quantative <br />How many parishioners (how often) attend the Sunday Eucharist?<br />Qualitative<br />What are the views of parishioners from various social and economical as well as cultural backgrounds? <br />20<br />
  21. 21. 21<br />Quantative versus QualitativeKey Differences<br />
  22. 22. Qualitative vs Quantitative Research<br />Key Points:<br /><ul><li> Qualitative research involves analysis of data such as words (e.g., from interviews), pictures (e.g., video), or objects (e.g., an artifact).
  23. 23. Quantitative research involves analysis of numerical data.
  24. 24. The personality / thinking style of the researcher and/or the culture of the organization is under-recognized as a key factor in preferred choice of methods.
  25. 25. Overly focusing on the debate of "qualitative versus quantitative" frames the methods in opposition.  It is important to focus also on how the techniques can be integrated, such as in mixed methods research.  More good can come of social science researchers developing skills in both realms than debating which method is superior. </li></ul>22<br />
  26. 26. Some Examples of Quantative Research<br />Gifts and Talents Survey Questionaire<br />Part I. Things I Have Done! I have the following skills/talents/experience;<br />these are things I have done!Please mark the ones you are good in: <br />___ Working with children<br />___ Working with other teens<br />___ Working with adults<br />___ Working with the elderly<br />___ Working with the disabled<br />___ Working with another culture<br />___ Working with the poor/disadvantaged<br />___ Visiting people who are home-bound<br />___ Working with the sick<br />___ Hospitality<br />23<br />
  27. 27. Some Examples of Quantative Research<br />Snapshot of the Religious Landscape of the United States: the Results<br />By all accounts, the United States is among the most religiously active and diverse nations in the world. There are currently over 350,000 congregations in the U.S., spanning the world’s religions and denominations. This snapshot provides a quick picture of American religiosity, faith institution membership, religious-driven giving and volunteering, and regional religious differences. It allows local leaders to reflect on their own community’s religious traditions and identities in relation to the demographics of other communities and the nation at large. <br />Religiosity: More than 90% of Americans believe in some sort of higher power. Nearly 9 out of 10 Americans consider religion “very important” or “fairly important” in their lives.<br />Faith Institution Membership: Nearly 7 in 10 Americans are members of a church or synagogue.<br />It has been historically true that between 35 and 40% of Americans have probably participated in their faith community with some degree of regularity <br />24<br />
  28. 28. 25<br />Research Methods: the summary<br />Statistical analysis<br />Discovery, explanation, directions<br />
  29. 29. Which Research Method to chose?<br />Quantitative: <br />How many RCIA candidates did you have in 2010?<br />Qualitative: <br />Why was RCIA good this year?<br />Most worthwhile research has elements of both Qualitative and Quantitative<br />26<br />
  30. 30. 27<br />Typical Research process<br />Awareness of area that needs study<br />Possession of some initial questions<br />Review of what is already out there in the field<br />Prepare survey/questionnaire<br />Draft<br />Pilot<br />Introductory letter (Ethics and legalities)<br />Roll out survey/questionnaire<br />Analyse results<br />Qualitative reflection<br />
  31. 31. 28<br />Reading the Data: Understanding qualitative research and data analysis software<br />The Qualitive Research: <br />Qualitative research uses unstructured information – like field notes, videos, transcripts and audio recordings, instead of numbers to arrive at conclusions. <br />For more advanced Qualitative research data analysis you are advised to use NVIVO software:<br /><br />
  32. 32. 29<br />Reading the Data: Understanding qualitative research and data analysis software<br />NVIVO will help you to:<br />Import, sort and analyze audio files, videos, digital photos, Word, PDF, rich text and plain text documents. <br />Work with transcripts or work without them, analyzing material straight from audio and video files.  Or create transcripts or text files in the software as you go. <br />Work with material in any language and choose to work with an English, French, German, Spanish, Simplified Chinese or Japanese user interface. <br />Query your data with a powerful state-of-the-art search engine. <br />Graphically display project information, connections and findings using models and charts. <br />Share files and findings with colleagues who don't have NVivo, using HTML web pages. <br />Merge separate projects and still identify which work was completed by each team member. <br />
  33. 33. 30<br />Reading the Data: Understanding Quantative research and data analysis software<br />The Quantative Research: <br />Quantative research uses structured information – like closed or semi-closed questions, numbers to evaluate intensity of the question. It always the numbers that arrive at conclusions. <br />For more advanced Quantative research data analysis you are advised to use SPSSsoftware:<br /><br />
  34. 34. 31<br />Reading the Data: Understanding Quantative research and data analysis software<br />You can also use the Microsoft Excel<br />
  35. 35. 32<br />Bibliography<br />Stephen B. Bevans Constants in Context: A Theology of Mission for Today (Orbis Maryknoll 2004)<br />Roger P. Schroeder What is the Mission of the Church: A guide for Catholics? (Orbis Maryknoll, 2008)<br />Philip Knights and Andrea Murray Evangelisation in England and Wales (Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales , 2002)<br />Philip Knights Changing Evangelisation: Themes and Stories from Catholics in local Mission (CTBI, London, 2007<br />Anne Richards et al Foundations for Mission (CTBI, London 2010)<br />
  36. 36. Recommended weblinks:<br />Qualitative versus Quantitative - - a table (similar to above), summarizing characteristics of qualitative and quantitative research in more detail <br />Qualitative versus Quantitative Design - - another table (like above) <br />The Qualitative versus Quantitative Debate - - good overview, but the layout is flat and difficult to skim-read <br />Qualitative vs Quantitative analysis - - reasonable overview, with linguistics focus<br />