Dissertation, Hypothesis and PO
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.