Retreats Research Project

Brief description of the Project

The research project will investigate the views of teachers involved in retreat work about the nature, purposes and conduct of senior school retreats (an online questionnaire taking about 20 minutes). The views of a sample of about 5 teachers (or more) per school, not involved in retreat work, will also be sought (an online questionnaire taking about 10 minutes).

Later it is intended that data on Year 12 (and / or Year 11) students' views of retreats also be collected (an online questionnaire taking about 20 minutes), preferably after their retreat. The initial student target is Year 12 students. But if a school also has retreats in Year 11, they could also complete the survey.

A brief general online questionnaire on the scope of each school's involvement in retreats would also be completed by a designated person in each school (usually the Religion Coordinator, Assistant Principal Religious Education or Retreat Coordinator etc). It is proposed that there will be three dimensions to the results each school's own particular results (confidential to the school), the pooled data for the diocese (confidential to the diocese), and the total pooled data. A detailed report of the completed research would also be submitted to participating Catholic Education Offices and schools, together with a summary for participating teachers. It is anticipated that the research process should catalyse a period of useful reflection and review of school retreats throughout the diocese. While not shaped primarily as evaluation instruments, two of the questionnaires could be further refined to serve a retreat evaluation function.

The initial plan is to collect data from teachers and students by online questionnaires, and where possible, by recorded individual interviews with a sample of teachers who conduct retreats, and who would be willing to be interviewed. In addition, a school's staff who are involved in retreat work can make an optional submission to the project through their own recorded discussion of what they consider key issues for retreats. The interviews will not be conducted in all dioceses because of constraints on resources for the project.

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