Researching our Own Community
Shawna Vyhmeister

 


The Influence of Selected Factors on Religious
Knowledge, Attitudes and Christian Practices

Leeroy Elisha

Young People's Concepts of Personal Spirituality
Anju Halder 

The Life and Religious Beliefs of the Iraya Katutubo: Implications for Christian Mission
 Cornelis Ramschie

South Korean Adults' Perception on Causes of
Difficulties with Spoken English

Romi Chae

The Relationship Between Research Knowledge and
Research Output for College Faculty: An Asian Case Study

Shawna Vyhmeister  and  Ronald Vyhmeister 


Blended Learning in Higher Education: Frameworks,
Principles and Guidelines

D. R. Garrison and N. D. Vaughan

Reviewed by Harimalala Razafimahafaly

Take the Risk Learning to Edentify, Choose and
Live with Acceptable Risk

 B. Carson and G. Lewis
Reviewed by Prema Gaikwad  
 
Direct Marketing in Action: Cutting-Edge Strategies for Finding and Keeping the Best Customers
A. R. Thomas and D. M. Hauser
Reviewed by Lenita Waty


Researching our Own Community

Most research that graduate students and faculty read is about someone else, in a different place and time. The beauty of doing original primary research in one’s own environment is that the results not only help to generate theory, but also provide a clearer picture of the world immediately at our doorstep. Asian students have relatively few examples of Asian faces, and Asian data in their assigned reading—but the collection is growing. This issue of the International Forum is dedicated to increasing our understanding of the community in which we live and work.

This issue is special—it marks the first volume of the International Forum that is entirely externally peer-reviewed. For years we have carefully reviewed every article of the journal by resident experts with an interest in each topic, but we have now completely outsourced this process, as academic journals should. From this point, our journal will be peer-reviewed.  In the new year, we will celebrate this landmark with a face lift and a name change to reflect our growth, so stay tuned.

All five of the articles in this issue are situated in Asia. Four are by AIIAS students or former students, with one article by faculty members.  Four of the five articles contain data from the Philippines. Two of the articles deal with teens and spirituality, and one with the spirituality of isolated tribal people. The other three articles deal with sociological issues relating to college students, graduate students, and faculty.

The issue opens with a trio of articles on spirituality. Elisha’s article explores factors that influence the spirituality of teens, such as parents, teachers, peers, and Bible classes.  His research divides spirituality into several areas, and shows that different areas of spirituality are affected by different factors.  While most of the results are what one might expect, some suggest a need for further research into how teen spirituality develops.

Halder’s qualitative study probes deeply into teenagers’ understanding of their own spirituality. Her results show variation over time, with older individuals tending toward a more mature relationship with God. Stark contrasts between individuals were also found, though all of them were raised in a similar environment. 

Ramschie’s ethnographic study explores the spiritual understandings of a primitive tribe living in a remote area of the Philippines. Although their territory has been evangelized for many years and most of them have become Christians, superstitions and spirit worship are still very important parts of their culture.  Ramschie interviewed the older members of the community in an effort to understand what they really believe, and how they understand reality, and spirituality. His premise was that unless we truly understand where the people are coming from, it is difficult to educate them in new ways of thinking. He also conducted a focus group discussion with some of the more educated youth of the tribal community, to see how the tribe’s beliefs may be changing over time. 

Adult language learners experience many difficulties both linguistically and personally as they struggle to make themselves understood in a new language.  These difficulties are intensified in an immersion setting, and increase if the new language and culture are extremely different from their native language and culture.  The case of Koreans studying English in the Philippines is a classic example of a difficult linguistic/cultural shift.  Chae explores this language immersion setting with Korean adults to determine which areas of language learning they perceive as giving them the most difficulty, and how these difficulties affect their actual language learning progress.

College faculty, even in a teaching institution, are expected to do research in order to continue learning and developing professionally. Last year, InFo published part one of a two-part series on faculty research by Vyhmeister and Vyhmeister, which was about barriers to research production.  This issue contains the second part of the study, which explores the knowledge of faculty members about specific research skills, and compares faculty knowledge to actual research production. Results showed that there was little research publication currently going on in the institution studied, and what there was, was heavily contributed by doctorally qualified faculty. Research knowledge was correlated with production, but correlation does not indicate causation. The authors conclude that increasing research production may require not so much specific prerequisite skills, but rather a supportive environment where faculty can get advice and help in whatever areas they have doubts or needs.

This Forum issue is a look at unique environments in the communities that surround AIIAS, that can help us better understand where our students, clients, and community members are coming from. No matter what line of work we find ourselves in, this type of local knowledge is incredibly valuable, and will serve as a compass to aid in decision making.

 

Shawna Vyhmeister, PhD
Editor,
Info Journal
Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies
Silang, Cavite , Philippines