Research during College-days?
There are Universities which deliberately introduced ‘Foundation Course’. The intention was to acquaint the students with the main tenets of different courses with the emphasis on Awareness and Sensitization of contemporary issues like Environmental degradation, Gender-discrimination, Hate-crime and violence, Nuclear warfare, to name a few. Now students are no more dependent on teachers for the same.
It was the period when the only source of knowledge for students was the Teacher. Not only knowledge of the concerned discipline but information as well as Wisdom used to be passed from Teachers to the students. However, with the Digital Revolution and Information- Explosion, teachers can impart not only FACTS which are easily accessible but the Analysis of Facts which is the CONTRIBUTION to the field of Knowledge. Analysis of the Data collected is a significant step in any Research.
What I propose is the idea that Research culture can be introduced at a very early stage than before- not only in the form of writing assignments/ projects/ teaching Critical Thinking but including Research Methodology as a Module. In this module, the concept of Research needs to be clarified .
Some of the topics can be as follows:
- Definition, Nature and Scope of Research
- The Process of Research with various stages involved- Identification of a problem, Data-collection, Analysis of facts, Reconciliation/ Synthesis/ Unification leading to Conclusion indicating developments in future.
- The differences between Scientific Research and Research in Humanities
- The Ethical Issues involved in Research
- The limits, uses and Value of Research- its Applicability, Relevance or Significance
- Leading Research Institutes
Let me know how the idea is received.
( The writer is a member of the Board of Studies in Logic and Philosophy, University of Mumbai)