Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Cultural Training for 21st Century Mission

I don't think I ever posted this here, but the the Intercultural Studies team at my school published my Master's thesis on their website. (Their title for it is better than mine, too.) Don't worry, I'm not going to let this honor go to my head. The school has a strong history of commitment to educating current and future international workers, but the actual ICS department is pretty small. The option of completing one's Master's by writing a thesis (rather than completing a practicum) is a new, not available to all, and not what most are choosing to do. Only three of us wrote a thesis this year.

Get the highlights in my previous post, Equipping New Cross-Cultural Workers.

The school was only asking for a 15,000-25,000-word doc (60-100 pages) and recommended, for “case study research,” focusing on no more than 5-10 agencies.

I was concerned that the sample size would be too small or that more of the agencies I approached would say no, so I started with a list of 20 and ended up profiling 12.

Only later did I realize that processing the data in the time I had to do it would keep me from the additional steps I’d hoped for (follow-up interviews going deeper on key statements, and surveys testing patterns)… and the whole thing was quickly getting too long.

So I think the case study descriptions themselves are more helpful than my chapters on correlations and conclusions. I learned a lot and want to share that with anyone interested, but in terms of original research, it all feels more tentative than I’d like. I’m not making any plans to publish my findings elsewhere at this point.

Enough disclaimers? I'd still be thrilled if you read it or shared it with someone you know!

»  Read about Cultural Training for 21st Century Mission.