As previously mentioned, the School of Tourism has launched a programme of seminars on research methods for its research students. The 12 seminars over the next 4 months provide an introduction to the broad range of research methods used by our PhD students, and I thought that you might like an update, now that we are three seminars into the programme.
I led the first seminar on Initial Considerations in Research, where we examined issues relating to ontology, epistemology and axiology. This time, the can of beans did not explode (a long story) and the interest (or was it confusion) has given rise to a series of potential parallel seminars looking at Philosophy. The first two titles in this sub-series are: Towards a true understanding of reality. Ha, ha, ha! and The definitive guide to post modernism. Ha, ha, ha! (or alternatively, a spurious siren from the pre-ancient. Tears, crying and woe?).
The second session brought us back down to earth when Professor Roger Vaughan looked at the Quantitative Data Collection Process. Roger has a fantastic ability to produce a coherent structure on which to hang complex ideas. His emphasis on preparing well in order to make data collection easy (ier) was an object lesson for those tempted to charge headlong into gathering data without some deep reflection, as were his insights into the way that elements of what you do at the start of a PhD reappear and eventually come full circle.
The third session, led by Dr Lorraine Brown, looked at The Features of Qualitative Research. I think that Lorraine exhibits a really embodied understanding of the qualitative research process and this came across in the seminar. Naively some think that qualitative research is easy, possibly because they haven’t done it -“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy” Hamlet 1:5. Student and staff jaws did drop when she mentioned that she had managed to realize 10 research papers from her PhD. Another object lesson to us all. As was the quote from the Physicist Professor Brian Cox on Radio 4….”Science makes no claim to be right. Quantum mechanics requires you to jettison your perceptions of the world………..”
BSc. (Hons.), PGDip. AgSci., PGCert. RDS., Cert. Ed., NSch.
Winston Churchill Fellow. Rotary Foundation Scholar.
Senior Lecturer, School of Tourism, Bournemouth University.