Exploring for my authentic theme and question


To be honest, soon after I finished writing my first post, I realised that what I had written here was superficial and not what I authentically wanted to tackle. I was disappointed in myself for a while…

I told what I did to a friend from another faculty member, who introduced me to the book below, which shows how to find authentic research questions that continuously motivate people. Since then, I have followed its description and re-thought the themes/questions for my final project. This post shares with you the book and what thoughts/ideas are in my head. They are not entirely set in stone yet, but I guess I am in the right direction.

The book I introduced

(Introducing the specific method/process of finding a research question people would be highly motivated to pursue)

My current idea

Pre-learning / The process of finding what people want to learn

Are people learning what they want to learn? What is their journey/method of realising what they crave?
‘I need a masters because I want a good job.’
‘I hate studying, but I can’t get a good job if I don’t go to university.’

‘My parents expect me to go to university.’

I often hear these comments, and sometimes I “feel” the same thing even when people make plausible reasons why they learn. I am worried about them studying while externally motivated.

Is it truly good for them? Although I don’t say internal motivation is necessary, I believe it brings people happiness and energy to tackle difficulties while learning. Furthermore, considering the impacts on society, won’t there be a lot of academic innovations if people don’t want to learn? If such people get a job relating to their studies, won’t they perform well? I assume people who study without personal motivation would negatively impact society.

Reflecting on what I do at work, I am providing people with the time/chance to think/explore about what they want to learn/do in their lives. Currently, I am making educational programs run by the private sector in a rural town in Japan. However, there must be a lot of ways to encourage people to find their motivation and critical process that would be common in multiple ways, so I am eager to know about that.

This is what I am currently thinking about. I am open to any feedback and comments, so please feel free to leave your ideas! They will be helpful for me to dig into the theme/question for my research.

Just for the record:
Here are the other words which I naturally got excited while reading academic papers. Could they also be good clues to find the theme?
-Less options
-Career break
-Exploring the unknown

📸 taken by me this weekend in Loch Lomond.

4 Replies to “Exploring for my authentic theme and question”

  1. Hi Meiko! Please don’t feel disappointed as this is quite common – ideas will get clearer and clearer if keep thinking and writing:) I found your question about people’s motivation to education really worth exploring. Linking to your list of words, the one standing out for me is Meritocracy as it reminds me of a book The Tyranny of Merit where the author criticised Meritocracy as it led to greater social inequality, rather than the other way round. I’m not sure whether this will help thinking of your project, but it might worth a thought, especially in the context you are familiar with – such as do people believe in meritocracy? does it influence their choices? how does it work in society? Do feel free to expand and ask more questions:)

    1. Hi Yuemiao, sorry for my late comment and thank you so much for your cheerful comments. Maybe I saw the book you recommended somewhere several years ago, but totally forgot! I have been curious about Meritocracy for a long time, so I will definitely check it out.

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