Research is a process by which we ‘find out’ about something. You have probably been involved in research at some point. In school, you might have been asked by a teacher to look up facts about the history of your local community or to fill out a survey for classmates who are trying to set up a mini-company as part of their enterprise education in Transition Year. TV news reports and newspapers are always filled with articles that include things like ‘new research has shown that...’
The great thing about carrying out your own research is that you can ‘find out’ about something that affects young people or a problem in your community that needs to be addressed. Your research can then be used to influence change in an area or to address a particular issue. However, in order for our research to be valuable, we must ensure that it follows a certain set of rules.
This manual and accompanying workbook will offer a step-by-step guide to carrying out a research project that adheres to good research standards. In the end, you will have produced a valuable source of information on issues that affect your life and your community.The training manual and workbook were developed by a team of researchers and youth researchers at the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre in the Institute for Lifecourse and Society under the guidance of Professor Pat Dolan. The team comprised Maria Campbell, Danielle Kennan, Chloe Greene, Ailish Gowran and Keith Egan. The manual provides a step-by-step guide to carrying out a research project and the workbook is designed to complement the training by suggesting practical tasks to support the research process. The manual draws on examples of research previously undertaken by students of the Foróige Leadership for Life Programme. This youth program is accredited by the National University of Ireland, Galway under the academic directorship of Professor Pat Dolan and is delivered by the youth organization Foróige in projects and clubs nationally. Module 2 of the program requires the students to work on a team research project investigating local, community or global issues.