Transformative research in action

I am very excited to introduce the research team investigating the impact of the Diploma in Liberal Studies on its graduates and their communities. One of the key pillars of the research efforts at JWL is that research needs to be transformative, both at personal and societal levels, as highlighted by Mertens (2017).

This piece of research does so in several ways: 

  • It is transformative and participatory in the design, by putting JWL’s own alumni at the centre of the research team and by embedding a capacity-building element;
  • It is transformative in its focus, as it aims at unpacking the changes that the Diploma in Liberal Studies brought in the lives of its graduates and their communities, by listening to the voices of the participants;
  • It is transformative, because ultimately the results and findings of this research will support the refinement of JWL’s transformative education model.

As mentioned above, one key element of transformation is the team that is conducting interviews in different countries in which the Diploma has been delivered: alongside two country representatives, in Iraq and in Afghanistan, 11 Diploma graduates in Malawi, Kenya, Jordan and Afghanistan are interviewing fellow Diploma alumni as part of a two-month research internship. Furthermore, two other research interns have been recruited in Geneva to support with the analysis of the data; one of them is also a Diploma Graduate from Kakuma, Kenya, and currently undertaking a Master’s in Geneva.

Dr Isabella Rega

JWL Global Research Director