‘Re-search’ or ‘Re: search’ ?
Change is always happening in some form or another, for better or for worse. It may be innovative and progressive, prescriptive and regressive, or anywhere in between. In my opening post I suggested that the starting point of positive change is creativity. Let me qualify that a bit. Unbridled creativity in and of itself does not automatically produce lasting change for the better. While it must be the starting point if we are to experience anything truly effective, it needs to have some kind of reciprocal relationship to a solid foundation of knowledge (which was previously developed through a similar process). Creativity is enabled when the mind oscillates from the known to the unknown.
Here we see the importance of inquiry. It is the basis of the creative process. You’ve all heard it said, ‘inquiring minds want to know’. Questioning is a natural human quality. It is an art that people master to varying degrees. It is an endless pursuit. It drives conversation. It’s at the heart of gossip. We’ve all had burning questions. Now, if you take that excitement we attach to seeking and discovering and apply it to a formal academic context, it gets labeled with a word that for some reason often conjures up a range of feelings from fear to boredom to apathy: research.
How do you think of research? Perhaps you think of it as ‘re-search’ (looking things over again.. and again.. and again.. interpreting and reinterpreting what has already been said or written about a particular topic..the practice of hermeneutics). Or, maybe you think of it as ‘re: search’ (the discovery of consciousness, meta-cognition, or coming to know what it really is.. known as phenomenology). It is important to have an awareness of your thoughts about research in its different forms and what gives you the greatest sense of validity when you encounter types of research findings. This grounding in what you can accept as knowledge allows your initial inquiry to be guided and reformed. As this process happens over and over, we reaffirm what we believe to be true knowledge while pushing the boundaries of the unknown in the direction of the desire to know. And the cycle continues on and on…