Thursday, March 20, 2008

Farming out my research

In an attempt to gain more manpower for my research, previously I mentioned recruiting Food for All to help out in the conducting of surveys. However, having met Heather today, she seems hardpressed for manpower too so I decided to ask Wilson of ECO for help in getting school students to adopt this as their CIP (community involvement project).

He seems quite keen but sadly he has to make it sound like it's a partnership with ECO although the email he sent out is not very clear who the partnership is with. It sounds like ECO is running the research but that's alright. I will clarify with the teacher when it comes to the crunch. So this is my original email to Wilson and how I propose the CIP project to be:
Dear Wilson,

I am currently conducting a research on the impact of Singapore's vegetable consumption on the environmental and conservation behaviour of farmers in Malaysia as part of my Masters Dissertation in NUS Department of Geography. A part of the research includes a survey of consumer behaviour in Singapore, their consumption behaviour and their attitude towards organic or sustainable produced food.

I am hoping that this survey element of my research can be incorporated as the CIP project for upper secondary school or JC students.

Essentially, they would be required to conduct a total of 1000 survey questionnaires across Singapore with household decision-makers at various locations selling fresh vegetables such as supermarkets and wet markets. Each survey will last maximum 15 minutes. That means for a class of 40 students, each student will only need to conduct 25 surveys. The students could do this at their own leisure or complete all within one day as long as I receive the data by June.

In addition to the survey, I propose the following:

1) A group of students could be in charge of researching and creating a blog about sustainably produced or organic vegetables and food, the issues related to organic food or even about the organic food produced in Singapore.

2) Another group of students could help with the data entry of the surveys results. No analysis is required but if they wish to incorporate some of the information into the blog, that should be fine.

At the end of the project, the students could launch this blog as an useful web resource for Singaporeans. In addition, to the discretion of the teacher in charge, the students could have a presentation or exhibition in school or in class.

I am anticipating a total of 10 CIP hours per students for this project.

Prior to the project, I will also be happy to give a talk to the students about the issues relating the importance of knowing where our food come from, my project, their role in my research and briefed them on how to carry out the surveys and field research methods. If necessary, I will also assign students according to the location where they will conduct the survey as they have to be fairly spread out across the island.

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