Effective Research

The issue, Possibility of Perfect Research, raises some important questions on a research output or research process. What is research? What is the absolute basis of research? Why research is initiated? How research is conducted? How research is evaluated? What is perfection? Is perfection during research process viable? What is effective research management? What is research paper? We will make an effort to answer the aforesaid questions.

Oxford Dictionary defines research as, a careful study of a subject, especially in order to discover new facts or information about it. A research is either summary of information or evaluation of some already discovered information. Literally, research involves “searching again” the subject what others have written on it. A research is blend of information, evaluation, and innovation. Firstly, it gives information on a particular subject or matter, secondly, evaluates the earlier research or reviews relevant literature, and finally, the new work adds some innovative aspects, both practical as well as conceptual.

Man is combination of three basic realities, i.e., body, mind, and soul. Human activities are shaped by physical needs, psychological instincts, and soul urges. At physical level, an important physical need is leisure or relaxation. At psychological level, an important mental instinct is curiosity. Again, at spiritual level, an important soul urge is perfection. The multiple reasons of research are physical demand for more leisure, intellectual thrust on account of instinctual curiosity, perfectionist aspiration of soul due to ingrained urge of soul towards perfection. The very foundation of human anatomy is thus ultimate basis of research, so that research will continue forever. There is not possibility of perfect research in any discipline.

Life has two levels, individual and collective. Collective life is contractual arrangement of leaders and followers. Institutions are inevitable aspect of collective life. An institution works under the stewardship of leaders. Leaders initiate multiple programs to maintain their authority over followers or to maintain smooth sailing of institutions. A follower may change her mind towards leadership on account of static, poor, and corrupt governance. The solution to ceremonial or non-performing institutional setup is introduction of innovations, both conceptual as well as practical. Consequently, innovations are introduced from time to time. The very foundation of innovation is initiation of new and fresh research. In order to maintain the fabric of collective life, leaders (social or economic or political) initiates research from time to time. At intellectual level, the conducted research is prone towards perfection but practically it achieves only a fair output due to multiple constraints, financial and non-financial, imposed by leaders.

A research is conducted by intellectuals. Intellectuals/Scientists are creative group of a society. They receive ideas from multiple life events, now and then. The reception of idea is special psycho-social strength of intellectuals/scientists. An idea is like a seed of a plant. They think-rethink on it and assess the viability of idea. At last, they are positive towards productivity of their idea. They separate/arrange resources for idea realization. Sharing of idea with entrepreneur (social or economic or political) is an important step for resource arrangement. An idea realization activity is self-perfection of intellectual/scientist. It is noteworthy that proactive approach of an entrepreneur or society towards new ideas is vital for the materialization of intellectual creativity.

Research Evaluation is an important step for effective research management. Research Management is a professional work. Although, it is research-driven work but it is not research it is management of research efforts Generally, research is evaluated on the basis of it practical fruits rather than intellectual strength. The significant stakeholders of a research are entrepreneurs, governments, and general public. A research would be productive if it enhances profit of entrepreneur, power of government, and welfare of public. It is noteworthy that the perfectionist tendency of intellectuals/ researchers is not decisive factor for research output; it is effectiveness that determines acceptance of research. It is said that tree is recognized by fruits so the same is true about research output.

Perfection has two aspects, relative and absolute. An absolute perfection is non temporal and non spatial phenomenon, while relative perfection is temporal-spatial phenomenon. Normally, a creative work is only relatively perfect. Overtime it looses her effectiveness, people search for something anew. It has happened many times and it will happen from time to time. For example, during 19th century, scientists have become perfectionist towards their findings. They were painting only statistical picture of everything. In early decades of 20th century, Einstein, Jung, Gestalt, Keynes, Iqbal, Bergson, and Bertrand Russell broke the myth of perfectionism or micro truths. They marginalized the accepted facts and opened new vistas of research.

A research is either positive or fruitful for multiple stakeholders of research or harmful for them. The practical outcome of research and resource input of research decides the effectiveness of research management. A positive research idea of intellectuals/scientists converts into some inventions or creative work, the invention is converted into innovation by entrepreneurs, the innovation is accepted by masses or rejected by them. An accepted innovation is either temporary or permanent. A temporary outcome is obsolete, sooner or later. For example, the 19th century communication system is history in 21st century. On the other hand, democracy is permanent outcome of enlightened intellectuals of 18th/19th century. We are reaping the benefits of democracy established by Abraham Lincoln in America, by Churchill in Europe, and Muhammad Ali Jinnah in Pakistan.

A research paper is formal presentation of research. The very beginning of a research paper is introduction of focal idea of research. A researcher then reviews the relevant literature to focus her mind towards viability or significance of idea. A definite research methodology is outlined to attain better outcomes from research effort. Now, the researcher explains the findings of research, logically and forcefully. Finally, the researcher discusses the implications, both practical and conceptual, of research endeavor. A good research paper indicates some possible lines of action for further research because a perfect research is not possible on account of multiple constraints both, financial and non financial. A research essay follows the same pattern, however it is less formal.

The Ten Characteristics of the Scientific Research

Professors and supervisors in general request scientific papers in college but do not always bother to explain what the basic characteristics of a scientific work are. Thinking about this, I tried to summarize in what follows the main characteristics of the scientific research. Note that to do scientific work, you need to have a scientific attitude first.

To perform a scientific task that obeys the scientific process, it is necessary to verify that your essay includes the following elements.

1. Objectivity. Scientific knowledge is based on facts and it seeks to describe them and analyze them objectively, regardless of emotional considerations or preconceived ideas. The empirical data is the raw material of theoretical formulations.

2. Theorization. In addition to describing the facts, science rationalizes the observations. The researcher formulates hypotheses and hypothesis systems, that is, theories. In other words, the real source of the discoveries is not the raw facts, but the theorization of hypotheses in the form of theories.

3. Analyze. Scientific research addresses well-defined or partial problems, aiming at partial solutions. It seeks to unfold an entire complex into its simplest components. Therefore, science starts with partial problems.

4. Specialization. The analysis of partial and delimited problems leads to specialization. Although there is unity in the scientific method, the multiplicity of techniques has resulted in the relative independence of the various sectors.

5. Precision. Science seeks clarity and precision. Clarity and precision are revealed in the formulation of problems and in the definition of concepts.

6. Communicability. The language of science, precise and rigorous, is primarily aimed at informing. It is the duty of every scientist to communicate the results of his research to the world of science so that they can be verified, confirmed or refuted (if necessary). This is so important that there are specific rules for the scientific discourse.

7. Verifiability. This means that the hypotheses and theories must be testable. It is necessary to check whether they have a greater or lesser degree of reliability. The test is empirical and observable. In other words, the confirmation of the hypothesis involves carrying out experiments.

8. Method. Scientific research is planned so it is part of an already accumulated knowledge. Science is subject to its methods but can adapt and perfect them.

9. Systematization. The goal of science is to create a system of ideas logically related to each other.

10. Generalization. Particular statements are included in broad schemes, allowing for a greater degree of generalization. Particular facts are studied in view of general hypothesis or theories. The scientist who works in his laboratory seeks to reach the universals that his logical reason discovers in the complex structure of particular facts of nature.

The Importance of Nursery School

Many parents may be wondering if they really need to put their kids in nursery school. A lot of people think it is fine to put their children in school at the age of five for kindergarten. The immeasurable value of early education cannot be underestimated. Many parents may consider daycare over early education. The thing is that a fair number of preschools are also certified daycares, so you can still work and pick up your children afterwards. Let’s explore other important facets of nursery school that you may not be aware of.

The Importance of Early Education

While a lot of people may be quick to write off the importance of what you learn between the ages of three and five, recent studies suggest that preschool is very important. In these settings, children are exposed to numbers, letters, and shapes for the first time. They also begin to learn the names of colors and animals. Perhaps the most important facet of early education is the simple social interaction with other children. It is key that children learn how to get along with others and contribute to the whole in a meaningful manner, which they learn in an early education setting. The National Institute for Early Education Research did a study and found that nearly 40 percent of three year-olds and upwards of 66 percent of four year-olds were enrolled in early education programs. Their study also concluded that children who attended such programs entered kindergarten with better reading, basic math, and vocabulary skills. These programs sound pretty good, don’t they?

Choosing the Right Nursery School for Your Child

This requires a fair amount of research on your part. First, you must determine what program works best for your schedule. Generally, schedules range from full-time, half-days, or two to three days a week. If you work longer hours, you can find an option that also supplies daycare. Secondly, consider the location. You may choose between proximity to your home or work. Either way, these are logistical issues that you must consider. Perhaps the most important question to tackle is what kind of institution do you want to send your child to? There are programs in state schools, churches, private organizations, parent’s coalitions, and daycare centers. What values do you want instilled in your children? Make sure that the nursery school you send your kids aligns with your own values.

Early education is more than just a place to offload your kids while you go to work. The research is clear that children who start education earlier tend to be better students and have more basic skills. Education is the single most important gift you can provide for a child.

Education for Sustainable Development for Child Education and Schools

Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) is a rather new field of education. We can see it as an innovative kind of future education for schools linking the child’s development with the future challenges of society.

I don’t think that education for sustainable development is just another buzzword forgotten in a few years. From a global perspective as well as a local perspective we have to direct education toward what will be truly useful for each child and for each society in the future.

To have a fulfilling life should be within reach for all children wherever they are born. In too many parts of society and of the world children grow up in hazardous environments with very poor conditions for basic requirements and bleak prospects for their future.

Education for Sustainable Development is derived from the Brundtland report’s focus on Sustainable Development (SD). The Brundtland report requires fundamental changes in the society and its institutions, in politics and in our individual family life styles. Economic development cannot be separated from social development and a concern for the environment.

ESD for child development Educational research can tell us a lot of how to make use of education for sustainable development for child development.

The most important fact might be that ESD is an excellent frame for the empowerment of children. When we respect each individual child for its ideas and opinion, and at the same time bring the child into challenging learning situations we facilitate empowerment of the child.

Developing self esteem and empowerment goes hand in hand in education for sustainable development. A proper self esteem is such an important part of successful child development.

Another important fact is that ESD is a productive frame for meaningful learning. Opposite to rote learning and the acquisition of facts without much understanding meaningful learning situations help the child to engage fully in the teaching. By working with real problems the child can develop much better understanding of concepts and skills from the schools core curriculum in a meaningful context. The key to that is the opportunity to use and reflect on these ‘traditional’ ingredients of classic schooling in the meaningful contexts derived from the focus on sustainable development.

Education for sustainable development and schools Some schools have focused on the beautification of their school environment. This might help the school’s prestige in the local society but it isn’t helpful for education for sustainable development unless it happens as the students’ project.

Similarly some schools have put a lot of emphasis in making the school buildings more ‘green’ with solar power panels, recycling systems, water conservation measures and tree planting around the school. Again, such initiatives are only valuable for the learning of the students if they are planned as student projects. You cannot evaluate the quality of a school’s work with education for sustainable development from a picture of the school.

Concerning a better approach to ESD, headmaster and teachers should ask questions like: – How can we challenge students’ thinking on the future and how to make use of parts of the core curriculum in a meaningful way in combination? – How can we teachers cooperate to create stimulating activities and plan the teaching in such a way that the self-esteem of the students will benefit from it? – How can we help students to investigate local people’s concern for the future and how to make sense of such results? – How can we help students to try to make a difference according to their wishes and visions?

Education for sustainable development will gain increasing publicity as the picture of environmental degradation, energy shortage, climate change, increasing poverty mixed with increasing wealth and the overall picture of globalization becomes more evident.

We cannot blame our children for these issues but it is our duty to educate them to be able to cope with such complex and controversial issues and to live a decent life with a belief that it is possible for everybody to make a difference to the better.

Teaching Christian Religious Education – A Review

In ten chapters or one hundred and eleven pages, the author presents a compendia of methodology of teaching Christian religious education. The purpose of the study, countless misconceptions of students, the etymology of the word ‘methodology’, definition and reason for religious education, kinds of research methods and hints of note taking are discussed in the first chapter. These give students the opportunity of revising when writer rather than presenting new information to them. The importance of the second chapter is that it gives a systematic approach to finding research/project problems, approach to find a research topic, formulating the research topic, sources of information, reviewing relevant literature, sources of information, reviewing relevant literature, hypothesis and format for research writing. Like the first chapter, the dimensions are not new but serve as a useful guide. The Nigerian approach to moral and religious instruction as stated in the 1981 Revised National Policy on education moved from rote memory of biblical passages to affect the psychomotor and affective domains. Approaches to the study of Christian religious education discussed in Chapter 3 include the Bible-centered or salvation history approach, the phenomenological approach, teacher-centered approach, and the Bible to life, life experiences and life-centered approaches. New life was therefore injected in teaching religious education as students discovered the religious implication of their actions.

Working on the premise that there are several teaching methods in each discipline, the writer identifies some methods and factors that determine their suitability and the right time to use them in the fourth chapter. He rightly observes that the Christian religious studies teacher should not be dogmatic but should apply a method as the situation demands. These methods are divided into teacher centered (lecture, questioning), learner centered (project, assignment) and joint (drama, field trips, story telling, role play) methods.

In Chapter 5, the writer successfully defines technical terms like teaching and teaching practice. Parameters used to identify the competency of the teacher are discussed. The section of preparing to teach is in consonance with Hendrick’s law of readiness. The discussion on the management, organization and administration of teaching practice and micro-teaching and its advantages are geared towards enabling the teacher to teach effectively especially if the assessment instruments at the end of the chapter are implemented.

The sixth chapter clearly traces the history of the religious studies curriculum which protects the child from receiving any instruction that is contrary to the wishes of his parents. The origin and objective of the word ‘curriculum’ and the vital role of parents, learners, teachers, local community, religious bodies, ministries of education and other national bodies are discussed. The seventh chapter expands on the discussion in earlier chapters. The sample of a syllabus is a useful reference material to every Christian religious education teacher.

The eighth chapter on lesson plan logically follows the seventh since the classroom experience tests what has been planned. The writer realistically observes that the success of the teacher is dependent on the mastery of the subject and his/her job is incomplete until evaluation is done. The importance of educational objectives, the cognitive, psychomotor and affective domains cannot be overemphasized.

Commenting on the application of teaching materials, the writer observes that a good material among others should relate to the objective and age of the learners, match their ability and elicit interest in them. The penultimate chapter presents a vivid description of the use of instructional materials in teaching. The impact of visual and audiovisual materials is amazing. Although they create an opportunity for students to come face to face with reality, they should be seen as a means to an end.

The last chapter clearly presents justification for moral education in the school in an era of moral decadence. The aim of religious education therefore is to facilitate desirable changes in an individual since it encompasses theoretical, practical, moral, spiritual, human and divine aspects. The entire society – the home, school, church, voluntary organizations, mass media- has a role to play.

Although the book presents a rather interesting evaluation of Christian religious education methods, the author himself admits that he is not trying to offer new dimensions in the first two chapters. Even though he presents a format for research writing, the technical terms are not defined leaving the reader in a difficult position to see the relationship among them. Several typographical errors undermine the richness of the presentation. The above notwithstanding, this illustrative text of the Nigerian educational experience has graphic illustrations and review questions which stimulate critical thinking. A commendable insight is the lucid distinction made between the curriculum and syllabus which are treated as synonymous terms. The clear presentation of Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives is also imperative. Perhaps another insight is how the wrong use of textbooks could hinder self-initiative and transforms learning merely into a routine.