ELIZABETH’S SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE
1. Name 2. Age 3. Mother’s occupation 4. Father’s occupation 5. How many children are in your family? 6. How many brothers do you have? 7. Your brother’s age(s) and birthday(s) are: 7A. Age
8. How many sisters do you have? 9. Your sister’s age(s) and birthday(s) are: 9A. Age
10. Where were you born? 11. Where was your mother born? 12. Where was your father born? 13. How old is your mother? 14. How old is your father? 15. What is your race? 16. What is your mother’s race? 17. What is your father’s race?
There was the surprise that
someone so young could grasp
material that I
had presupposed to be too difficult for students her age.
Applied Math Skills
With the committee’s approval, Elizabeth began collecting data. The questionnaire was administered at the school by her individually to each student in the sample. The data were tabulated, collated, and summarized at home with my assistance. In doing so, Eliza- beth had to engage in addition (for totaling), subtraction (for differencing), division (for averaging), and discussion with me about what the resulting measurements and measures meant in the context of the research. These measures allowed a number of comparisons to be made, e.g.: 1) within the student cohort; 2) between the parent and teacher cohorts; and 3) intergenerationally across student and parent or teacher cohorts. Finally, Elizabeth wrote a report of her findings which were presented to her class.
Our Goals Realized
In all, this was an experience in which Elizabeth and I both learned something. She learned to initiate and complete a project that expressed her own interest and creativity. For me, there was the surprise that someone so young could grasp material that I had presupposed to be too difficult for students her age. The shared experience is something that has stayed with us both over the years. Elizabeth is now a senior in college majoring in theater. And, though demography is now a distant interest, for a moment it was center stage. What more, then, to warm a father’s heart? !
This article first appeared in Connect in the October, 1991 issue. At the time of publication, Lawrence R. Carter was Associate Professor and Graduate Program Coordinator in the Department of Sociol- ogy at the University of Oregon, College of Arts and Sciences, Eugene, Oregon.
Page 10 • Connect ©synergy learning • 800-769-6199 • May/June 2011
7B. Birthday 9B. Birthday