This course introduces students to research methods in the child and youth care field. Within an applied research context, students will investigate the knowledge and skills necessary to locate, understand and utilize research relating to the field of CYC. Students will examine and apply basic issues, designs and methodologies within qualitative and quantitative research models.
The following global ideas guide the design and delivery of this course:
- Child and youth care practitioners use research to develop quality programs for individuals, groups, families and communities. Recognition of the purposes, procedures and ethical considerations in clinical and research practice of research provides a base to begin reading and designing research.
- Child and youth care uses both qualitative and quantitative research models in the development of new knowledge and the evaluation of programs.
- Child and youth care theory and practice is based on research from a wide variety of disciplines. When practitioners understand how knowledge is constructed based on specific research, they are more able to critically assess that knowledge and consider other models from a research perspective.
- Particular types of research questions are more effectively explored by particular research models. Models will include, but not be limited to, Participatory research and Feminist research.
- Child and youth care counsellors often encounter situations which require research. In order to design research proposals, child and youth care students need to understand the elements in the research process, including:
- Research purpose and question formation
- Literature review
- Design alternatives and selection
- Research procedures
- Discussion and presentation
- Child and youth care practitioners are often confronted with situations which do not have easy answers. Much of the work involves responding to the unexpected. The work raises questions. Effective use of data bases and the ability to read research literature informs professional practice. An understanding of the language of research and an ability to critically read published research literature with particular attention to quality of literature review, sufficiency and clarity of operational definitions, clarity of hypothesis and method, appropriateness of sample, clarity of data analysis, results, limitations and conclusions.
- Questions abound in child and youth care. Clarity is often elusive as practitioners sort through all the possible factors influencing the behaviour of a child or the success of a program. The ability to generate, shape, and refine research problems improves the likelihood that effective research will be done and effective solutions will be found.
- Many ideas, approaches, therapies and possible solutions described in the popular literature or in staff meetings, sound good. An understanding of measurement, validity and reliability adds rigor to discussions and decision-making.
- Sampling allows the researcher to test out ideas with a small collection of people who are selected as a representative group of the target population.
Methods Of Instruction
- Group Work
- Student presentations
- Audiovisual presentations
Means of Assessment
This course will conform to Douglas College policy regarding the number and weighting of evaluations. Typical means of evaluation would include a combination of:
- written assignments
- case evaluation
- group presentations
This is a Graded Course.
Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- recognize the ethical considerations involved in clinical and research practice
- recognize the purposes and procedures involved in clinical and research practice
- examine the strengths and limitations of qualitative and quantitative research models
- demonstrate understanding of what constitutes knowledge and its evaluation
- assess the applicability of various research models to particular types of research questions
- demonstrate the elements of the research process, via design of a research proposal
- access, use and critically evaluate published research literature
- generate, shape, and refine research problems
- evaluate practices in terms of measurement, validity, and reliability
- explain the rationale behind sampling
- conduct and statistically analyze a simple research problem.