A question from an article often arises from students who are about to start a thesis, thesis, or even a dissertation. A reasonable question arises from students with various perceptions about what, why, and how the research process is to answer a problem. Why waste energy, time, and significant costs if it’s just to find the answer to a problem through research?
When we hang out every day we often argue with each other. We chat to discuss various interesting issues to communicate. However, we are often also unable to convey the arguments in the conversation. Then we ask ourselves, have we ‘put an argument with the other person we are talking to? In other words, have you ever argued with one person or another? We say something to our friends, so our friends say something to us. Sometimes our friend says that he is right because your friend has gained knowledge and read what he says in the book. When we go to see a doctor, for example, we often say that the doctor has told me that I am sick. The doctor said it was because the doctor already knew. And so on and never stop. Do people claim to know something that the person knows something true?
Next question is how can we properly argue? How can we “win the argument”? How do we know if our argument is right or wrong? In other words, how do we know that we know? The problem is that every time we are faced with questions as long as we live in this world. We always ask how can we get a higher education? How can we live a better quality of life? How can we get along with our society well? How can we live more prosperously? Such questions are always present and present in every one of our lives. The problem then is how can we find reliable or reliable answers to all of our questions? How can we get knowledge to find answers to all these questions?
We can give answers to all the questions as above in various ways, for example if we want to know it is raining outside, then we must go out to see if it is raining today. Or we can ask our friends who are around us at the moment, is it raining right now? We can also answer that question with our own understanding. Or we answer all those questions by asking.
However, what must be realized is that sometimes a question can be answered immediately, but there are many questions that cannot be answered immediately or directly, such as we must first look outside this room to ‘make sure’ whether it is raining outside this room. Therefore, to questions that cannot be answered immediately, we need ‘a little’ research or consulting with others. This kind of research is needed to ensure that what we answer is correct.
Research is one way of knowing something. When we want to know something, and we don’t have the authority to say that something we know correctly, then we must do some research. The research was conducted to find out “how do we know”. So that we can know something is true and ‘legitimate’, then we do research or evaluation or experiment. So, research is a way or way to ‘know’ something better, true and has a strong argument base.
Why should we do research? Questions like that often also ‘haunt’ us when we have an argument with other people. In science there are at least 4 (four) reasons that can be put forward. These four reasons are often described in what is referred to as ‘The Four Squares of Knowledge’ (Kathryn Herr & Gary L Anderson, 2005: 38-39). The four boxes of knowledge are described as follows: First, in the first box it is stated that what we know today is also known by them or others. In other words, our knowledge also becomes the knowledge of others. ‘We know, they know’. Second, in the second box it is described that what we don’t know often other people know better. Therefore, we often do not know. ‘We Don’t Know, but They Know’ . Third, what we know is often unknown to others. ‘We Know, but They don’t Know’. Fourth, what we do not know is also unknown to others. ‘We don’t know, They don’t know’. This state of human knowledge also illustrates to us that we need research to find the truth. Through research, we can ‘negotiate’ what we know with what others know. What we don’t know with what other people know and so on to arrive at real knowledge or new knowledge.
Seeking new knowledge, there are two ways or approaches that are commonly used by scientists or researchers, both approaches are qualitative and quantitative.
Herr, K; & Anderson, L.G. (2005). The Action Research Dissertation. A Guide for Student and Faculty. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publication.