R for Research

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Truth be told research has become an integral part of our lives. And here, I am referring not only to “oh my god, what did I do to deserve this” formal definition of research but also to less academic, more prosaic and by no means less conceptual manifestation of research. For instance, what do we do when we want to know why friendship is important or which yoghurt is more healthy? We search the internet, ask everyone around, read reviews, compare and analyse the information. In other words, we conduct research.

More often than not, we do not consider research to be a powerful tool until we get a closer look at it. I am not an exception. Once I got familiar with the term during my undergraduate studies, scientific-research and methodology courses captivated my interest the most, because not only they provide valuable insights into language learning and teaching practices, but because it is interesting to seek further clarifications when confronted by complex issues. However, that is just a tip of the iceberg comparing to what the research is capable of doing in practice or academically speaking “in the field”. It contributes to our knowledge and understanding of theoretical concepts, different cultures, human behavior, educational processes; it enables governments and societies to solve problems on a various levels; and most importantly, it allows us to hear the voices of vulnerable, oppressed or silenced populations, thus making change in the world we live.

As for my personal experience, I am at the stage of tasting what research process is really like. Although there are many scary words as literature review, methodology and data collection, having heard some of the rural teachers’ stories and being a part of an international project on inclusive education motivate me to become a  researcher even if the chance to make a difference is not guaranteed.

5 thoughts on “R for Research

  1. Dear Deyna,

    Thank you for such amazing thoughts and comparisons! That is what exactly I have in my mind too. I agree that our life is full of researches, and it is definitely “a powerful tool”. However, while coming to an academic research in the field of education, I always think of some challenges that an emerging researcher might face with. One of such challenges that I have faced is a lack of confidence. While reading all articles, books, journals, I saw that a substantial amount of scholars know the subject of their researches really well and could debate, and it added some portions of doubt for me. With the time, when I found the topic that I am interested in and can become an expert, the level of confidence started to raise. Have you had any challenges on psychological level while starting the research in the field of education?

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    1. Dear, @ayanairis! Thank you very much for your thoughtful commentary on my post. Indeed, reading what others have done and written in your field, especially when it is all done skillfully and critically can ingrain doubts in relation to your own abilities and what you can possibly add as a researcher to a well-researched field. However, I think that it is a part of the learning process. As at this stage of our research careers, we are tasting and trying to configure our research directions and style. Thus, feeling some doubts or lack of confidence is a natural thing to experience. I am glad that you’ve found a way to overcome those doubts. As for me, I think I am still struggling with the topic of my interest and understanding of how I can possibly contribute to the development of education in Kazakhstan.

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  2. Dear Dana,

    since getting familiar with the concept it becomes comfortable talking about it. We usually joke around friends that we have to conduct research about this or that, for instance, why the floor plates are placed the way they are etc. Jokes aside, research has indeed become an integral part of our lives as you said. Academic research is just one of many kinds of research, try to find your path and inspiration. Your participation in UNICEF module is the indicator that you do have a spark in you and are not willing to let it fade.

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    1. Dear, @farihandro! Thank you very much for your kind words! Indeed, the way we think and talk about research shapes us in many different ways. Even if we joke around friends and complain about how difficult our path is deep down we realize that from now on we will not be able to live without research. and I hope that participation in UNICEF was our first step towards changing the world for the better with the power of research!

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  3. Well done, Dana,

    I found your sentence variety and honest tone refreshing and enjoyable to read. Here’s a highlight of that contrasting long-short sentence style we worked on a bit last semester:

    For instance, what do we do when we want to know why friendship is important or which yoghurt is more healthy? We search the internet, ask everyone around, read reviews, compare and analyse the information. In other words, we conduct research.

    (5/5)

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