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Katie Dul

Case Studies
GST
Essay 2:
Young Voices Research
A well thought out Research Report or evaluation has to have
certain elements that make it thorough, well organized and well put. In
reading both the Brown University Research Report and the Providence
College Independent Evaluation on the Young Voices program I was
able to witness certain overlapping strengths and weaknesses as well
as contrasting features amongst both write-ups. Some factors I took
into account were the quality and effectiveness of the research
question proposed, evaluation, data and quantitative and qualitative
inquiry.
I started off my assessment of these works with the Brown
University Research Project. In just scrolling through the document
there was evidence of a detailed work to get through. They opened by
giving background detail of what Young Voices is and how they worked
with them. They then provided the crucial primary research question,
of which they stated was to ask: Does Young Voices of Rhode Island
have a model that effectively includes student voices in the education
reform conversation? They followed this up with an explanation of how
to go about answering this question using what they called the four
arenas of participation. These four arenas were, effectiveness,
approaches, tools and advocacy. To reinforce what those ideas meant
they also added questions to be asked under those arenas and this

made me believe they had a clearly defined research question they


hoped to obtain answers too.
This study had a good overall structure to the presentation of its
intended goal. They provided a highly detailed Research design in
which they made clear that they would be using both Qualitative and
Quantitative methods to investigate their question. They did this in
emphasizing they would have a literature review, conducted interviews
with administrators, and analyzed student data collections. This is
evidently both qualitative and quantitative in the respect that
qualitative deals with the personal interaction, which would be the
interviews and the quantitative deals with the data gathered. The
Brown studies did a good job in including insight on focus groups and
student survey data and then presenting them in the format of a chart,
or graph. In their conclusion to their original research question and
after having analyzed their findings they answered that the YVRI
(Young Voices of Rhode Island) has an effective model but has room to
grow. The overall tone of this research Project presented a lot to work
with but at the same time did not seem to entice me in reading much
about it.
In switching the attention over to the Providence College
Independent Evaluation, I would have to say that my initial reaction
was color, pictures! I instinctively had the sense that this was going to
be interactive. This research project not only used an introduction
summary similar to that of the Brown Study but it also laid out the

evaluation plans in a table of contents. So just if I wasnt sure enough


of what stage we were at I could refer back to the well-organized
content. This Case study used their executive summary to get across
their intended research questions. The questions investigated are: How
does one measure growth and development in a young individual? How
can one prove or disprove that a program promotes student
development? And how does one distinguish personal growth from
academic growth? They followed that up with ways of how they hope
to achieve this and included both qualitative and quantitative
measures similar to that of the Brown Study methods. In the sense of
stating their research question I felt as though they could have had a
more abbreviated and concise question that entails the other
questions. Although the intentions were good their case could have
more effectively and strongly emphasized their primary research
question.
They then touched upon Relative Studies Reviews, which had
each point clearly stated then elaborated on. They used this Review
as, to better understand how community based programs such as
Young Voices not only promote youth leadership development, but also
empower urban youth to be socially active young adults This
showed me that they had clearly done their research on the subject
but had also put lessons learned to better the readers understanding.
This is something that helped me in putting what they tried to say
earlier in their summary into perspective. The data analysis was then

clearly defined in presenting the quantitative measures such as


average scores, participation grades, assessments etc. The data was
all relevant in assessing some aspects of their questions but I also
think it was a good call in putting additional recommendations for
things that could have been added or done differently.
Overall they there were elements of qualitative as well in the
interview process and meta-analytic techniques used that were all
clearly laid out. This led them to a conclusion in evaluating all the
research, which suggests Young Voices develops leadership,
communication skills, supports student development and creates a
safe space.