With whatever little I know about the method of doing dissertation, what I am able to make out from this exercise is that students must be exposed to the processes of research, which includes data collection and analysis. To be able to do this students must select one topic to be studied in depth and start with a ‘hypothesis’.
Hypothesis, is an essence of any dissertation. It lets you start the process in some direction. Hypothesis is based on certain assumptions and all the evidence that one may already have. Unfortunately, in many cases, students are already convinced about the hypothesis and its conclusion. So their research is more focussed on proving the hypothesis right than wrong. They consciously ignore, eliminate and avoid the path that disagrees with their hypothesis.
Hypothesis may not only end with YES or NO. There could be something neutral, mean or beyond that. PO. PO was coined by Edward De Bono, which looks beyond YES and NO. PO, lets you explore more possibilities than just YES and NO, sometimes resulting into something unimaginable.
Teachers, guides and students must explore the possibilities of PO. Not having an answer at the end, or having a mean, or having a very different answer than Hypothesis is alright.
“Trafficjamdelhi” by NOMAD – http://www.flickr.com/photos/lingaraj/2415084235/sizes/l/. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
This morning I was supposed to meet an important person who holds a very high position in the Indian Government office. The discussion would have only lasted about 15-20 minutes, I am sure. Considering the traffic in Delhi in morning hours, the time spent commuting would have been about three hours. Three hours of commuting for fifteen minutes of meeting. Waste of 150 minutes. But, the matter was important and the appointment was set.
I decided to call up the person in morning to confirm the meeting before starting from home, as many times I have experienced the last-minute cancellations specially with people from Government offices. The person on other end asked my location and the time it will take for me to reach his place. After hearing my answers, he asked me promptly “Can’t we then just discuss it over phone?” I was surprised. I never saw that coming. Seriously. Matter was equally important for him. He surely wasn’t trying to avoid meeting me. In fact the matter was more important for him than me.
He continued, “You can later send me an email on whatever we have discussed. I will look into the matter.”
I agreed happily. We talked for about 10 minutes on the matter, and the meeting was over.
Now, if only we could do justice to the technology around us, we will save many man hours every day that can be put to better use. Surely, we will also be helping environment a lot.We have phones, Skype, emails and more where meetings could happen. We will be causing lesser traffic jams, and frustration thus health problems.