Social Science students survey the community

Social Science students survey the community

Community and Social Development students teamed up with Voice Nelson recently to investigate the issues local residents felt were important to them.

Undertaken as part of their third year community development course at Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT), the activity aimed to support students learning in research and community engagement while engaging with the issues in a more professional capacity. It also illustrated the opportunity for students to regularly assist organisations like Voice Nelson.

"We wanted to find out whether the issues we discussed in class are what the people in Nelson actually think is important", explains Tutor and Field Co-ordinator Felicite Jardine.

"The results of the survey work helped to demonstrate to the students that social issues are perceived very differently. You can't make broad assumptions based on the fact that people are simply located in the same geographical area. We must listen to what people say and not act on pre-judged ideas".

Students who took part in the research work commented "there were quite a few unexpected answers", "there are recurring themes presenting – but not what I expected", "many people do not consider their part in the wider community" and "I learned to push myself to approach people".

The public response was very positive. Members of the public appeared happy to stop and talk to the students and most people had contributions to make.

If you would like to be part of projects such as this, then find out more about Social Science.

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