On the Power of Research
I have an idea of how the world works. Often, I fall victim to these ideas being wrong. The realisation that you’re wrong is an incredibly uncomfortable experience. Changing how you think to reflect this is just as difficult and happens often when working as a researcher.
One particularly salient experience of this change was when working in education research. I was tasked with improving assessment methods in university. After having been a student for years I already had a head full of ideas.
Then I began researching, reading journals and testimonies, interviewing staff and hearing the challenges they faced daily. Confronted with the realities of the staff’s experience my ideas started to alter. It was disconcerting for my views to change drastically over a few weeks. Issues which I was certain on, became fuzzy.
Perhaps the greatest evidence that my outlook on this tiny facet of the world had changed so much was when talking to friends. I’d spoken at length with these people about these issues. Only weeks previously we’d agreed but now I had changed so much that instead of easy conversations we were having intense debates.
This change is the difficulty all researchers experience. But is also the wonderful thing about working as a researcher. As you research you grow. The more you experience the uncomfortable realisation that you’re wrong, the more it is coupled with a sense of satisfaction that at least now you know and can pass that knowledge on.