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Youth Work in Schools Research Methodology - Essay Example

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The piece of research “Youth Work in Schools: an Investigation of Youth Work, as a Process of Informal Learning, in Formal Settings” has a wide array of research aims. In its most basic form, this piece attempts “seek clarification of the outcomes of youth work in schools (Morgan et. al, 2008, 63)…
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Download file to see previous pages al, 2008, 63). Much more specifically, however, the authors attempt to better understand how and to what degree youth work can affect learning outcomes of margenalized and disengaged students, including the so-called “quietly disengaged” that may not frequently the central topic of educational research (Morgan et. al, 2008, 2), because of the lack of their obvious need when compared to other similarly marginalized students. In particular, this work attempts to dissect many of the ‘soft’ educational outcomes that may be improved or affected by youth work, such as “raising self-esteem, increasing young people’s confidence, building relationships, challenging values and beliefs etc” (Morgan et. al, 2008, 46). These outcomes, though obviously incredibly important for the healthy development of young people in any educational environment, can be a difficult target to track or put political will into because of the lack of measureable objectives. This research attempts to uncover the degree to which youth work can be effective in achieving these soft outcomes, while simultaneously understanding how youth work, an informal educational tool, can be integrated into the formal educational environment of schools. ...
Furthermore, qualitative analysis gives the researchers the ability to use the findings of educational professionals in their own words, which obviously helps generate increased validity and a more thorough understanding of the subtleties and complexities involved in the research (Cohen, et. al., 2000, 31). The researchers used a soft form of coding, whereby they would group similar types of responses together and attempt to give their reader a good idea of majority or frequently cited opinions, often to be immediately followed by a few specifics either paraphrased or given in full quotation. When describing the first question of interviews, for instance, the researchers said that “while the youth workers launched into a straightforward response by outlining their work the schools perceived ‘informal’ education in quite a different light while those from Youthreach understood it in the context of a programme that was, in the first instance, divorced from school” – giving a characterization of frequent responses, followed by analysis, and finally specific examples which are not quoted here (Morgan et. al., 2008, 70). Obviously one significant issue with this type of qualitative analysis is that it grants the researcher incredible amounts of leeway in characterizing results, and deciding where to put emphasis: this can be either beneficial, focusing on small ideas of great importance, or detrimental, such as possibly ignoring or under-representing important trends or frequent responses. This research piece used a wide variety of different qualitative research methods: “In-depth interviews with key informants from youth work, schools and Youthreach; A worksheet/questionnaire for young people with experience of informal practices in formal settings; Focus ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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