Case Studies and Qualitative Measures
Case studies may be a great way to examine students’ thinking in development, as it unfolds and becomes more complex and integrative.
The Weigert and Kelley text (2004) provides a good starting point for examining the role of case studies.
Pilot Study at Notre Dame
There are many relevant survey tools—drawn from various lines of exploration—that we can use in our research. For example:
Commitment to the Common Good
- Responsibility for Improving Society (Nelson Laird et al., 2005)
- Openness to Diversity (Pascarella et al., 1996)
Preferential Option for the Poor
- Empowerment View of Helping (Michlitsch & Frankel, 1989)
- Belief in a Just World Scale (Dalbert et al., 1987)
- Social Dominance Orientation (Sidanius et al., 1994)
In addition, the richness and complexity of CST principles warrant the development of scales designed to examine them specifically through measures tailored to Catholic social tradition.
A possible model would be the Defining Issues Test, developed by James Rest and colleagues to examine moral and ethical development. The DIT measures how well individuals incorporate ethical principles into decision-making. Can we develop a similar instrument to examine individuals’ abilities to recognize CST principles and commitment to them in relevant contexts?