What is my general worldview in terms of what I think can be known, why that is the case, and how we can best understand the world?
The class lecture on June 3rd discussed three views that influence research. First there is an objective reality where the world can be broken apart and studied which will lead to understanding. Second, there is reality, parts of the world can be understood, however not all of it. In this example we need to determine and accept our limitations. Finally, no reality, meaning we cannot understand anything about the world. The final influence, of no reality, does not even seem logical. We already have even a low-level understanding on so many aspects of the world. This could be a matter of not knowing what I do not know, but I believe it is possible to understand everything. Perhaps this is not an all-encompassing understanding, but the process is iterative. Research can offer an understanding to one element or aspect of a topic, then the next study adds to that. With this thought my view is of an objective reality. It is possible to know everything over time.
What is research to me? What is its purpose? Do I prefer numbers or narratives or both?
To me research is finding more information about a specific topic. More specifically research is a way to find evidence that a viewpoint, theory, or perspective is believable. We need to do research in day-to-day life to make decisions. For example, in remodeling my kitchen I had to learn what needed to be done to accomplish the outcome I wanted. This required meeting with multiple professionals to learn perspectives based on their expertise. This allowed me to budget, hire, design and very soon execute the project.
In my academic life research has helped me learn about the state of the industry and identify gaps in what experts know. This information allows me to refine my interests and contribute to the body of research.
Before I took qualitative research last semester, I would have said I prefer my research to be numbers. I had the viewpoint that the numbers are cold hard evidence. Now my viewpoint has changed. I still like numbers, but narrative can give those numbers context and deeper meaning. In my belief that research finds evidence to make a concept believable a narrative explains the how and why the research is believable.
What is your main focus in terms of what you are planning for future research? Are you interested in higher education, K-12, corporate, or other settings/topics? Are you looking to switch your focus to a new setting as you move forward in your career?
My research focus is corporate education as it relates to technical skill development. Learning any type of technology can be frustrating. It doesn’t matter if it is code, hardware, software or devices we have all had those moments where we were pulling our hair out. My interest lies in learning cognition, and how technology can help or hinder that process.
I’m sure my focus will change throughout my career. As I develop a higher understanding in one area it leads me to another.