In the past we have talked about this idea that the skill set of a community’s faith leaders needs to change with the times. I also think that the bar for the person engaged within the faith community needs to rise as well.
The challenge is identifying what exactly is missing when we say that the bar is too low. And then, how to move forward with leveling-up the community (for example, how mobile health is being addressed in some African regions using entreprenural methods). This report from JISC about the skills researchers lack (pointed to by NetGen Skeptic) sheds some light on this worth gleaning.
In a survey enquiry asking about their last incident of information-seeking activity, the majority of all doctoral students (including Generation Y) across all subject disciplines were looking for text-based and secondary, pre-published research resources (journal articles, books etc) and not primary source materials.
This apparent and striking dependence on published research resources implies that, as the basis for their own analytical and original research, relatively few doctoral students in social sciences and arts and humanities are using ‘primary’ materials such as newspapers, archival material and social data. In sciences, few may be drawing on large datasets. The implications of this are so significant that there is a strong case for more in-depth research in this area to determine whether the data signals a real shift away from doctoral research based on primary sources compared to, say, a decade ago. If this proves to be the case there may be significant implications for doctoral research quality and other long-term concerns, such as what this might mean for the concept of the doctorate as a ‘research apprenticeship’ if it includes little experience of finding and using non-published and ‘primary’ research sources and materials in research work.
A bit weighty for some conversations, but again, if we are going to say that digital is suitable for ministry, then in order to continue ministry when the initiators of this craft are finished, we’ve got to identify what skills are lacking now, and what needs to be fortified in this foundation.