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Thursday, June 7, 2018

Action Research Workshop for Principals

53 principals from the three districts of Punakha, Wangdue and Gasa are undergoing a 5-days action research workshop in Bajothang Higher Secondary School.
How I was introduced to the crowd
A handful of published journals

Conferences and presentations I have attended as speaker

I was honoured to have been invited as the guest speaker to share on how I have embarked into the journey of researching enterprise: the challenges and opportunities.
My presentation title
My presentation was based on the pillars of 3Rs: Research, Resources and Reinforcements. Later as requested by the facilitators, Madam Phuntsho Om Namgyal and Dr. Rinzin Wangmo, Education Monitoring Officer, Ministry of Education, I have also briefly introduced on how to use SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Science) software for the data analysis.  
Three main pillars of my presentation
Research is indeed never a new idea for many of us. It is only that it has been left without practicing it. But late recently, in a view to upgrade the professional growth of the teachers, Teachers Professional and Support Division, Ministry of Education has embarked a journey to provide workshop for the principals so that they become equipped to encourage and motivate their subordinates in the schools to carry out research.
By the virtue of having few research publications, I was entrusted to share on some of the challenges faced by the beginning researchers. Apart from sharing on how to get the required academic journals and resources from the websites, I talked about some common mistakes committed by the beginning researchers. I shared the floor on how wrong research tools can provide inaccurate results, overambitious plans can cause disaster in methodology and how improper research ethics can be risky in particularly in an arena of social research.
Resource constraint for the beginning researchers particularly the teachers is one critical challenge that is detrimental to research curiosity. Besides other confronting research issues such as not having access to the journals, vague research topic, improper methodology, less sample size or required data, I shared to the forum on the aspects of extrinsic and intrinsic resources.
On asking how I was able to manage some research publications given the demanding teaching schedule in the school, I informed the gathering on how our passion and commitment shapes our priority of doing things. It is not only the time or the expenditure factor that regulate our passion in doing research, more often, in the institution that we work particularly the schools, it is the sterile internet connectivity that demotivates one to carryout internet-dependent works. Having no workable Wi-Fi facilities is as good as not having an access to sound research mining. 
Extrinsic factors that inhibits the researchers
Intrinsic factors that is detrimental to research enthusiasts
Similarly, the absence of giving credits in professional front (such as increment or raising professional ladder) as prevalent in the universities abroad is further discouraging. Trainings and seminars related to research are needful if importance to research has to be attached as proclaimed in many public documents. Speaking on an intrinsic front, I told the gathering that a little breeze of moral reinforcements and support, motivation and collaboration particularly from the managers and bosses works wonders. After all, as much as they seek recognition from our work, as subordinates, we also yearn for an authentic acknowledgement from our very own bosses. Just authentic!  
Eventually, despite the tsunami of challenges, I shared on what really reinforces me to maintain the flame of my interest towards the research burning consistently thus far. It was ultimately back to passion and commitment. However, I told the gathering that it was my passion in building the strength of my Curriculum Vitae (CV). In this 21st century, research expertise is one vertebrae that forms the spinal column of ones CV. The recent opportunity to participate in the 6th Young Professionals Leadership Program (YPLP-6) in the premier leadership institution, the RIGSS at Phuentsholing for one month was also largely associated with my CV. Of the 30 participants, 27 of them were already in a managerial post.
Another reason that keeps me furthering into research work is social networking. I have records of how I have helped handful of unknown school principals, foresters (College of Natural Resources, Lobesa) and teacher-colleagues to complete their thesis, design research proposals and analyze the data. Not boasting though, with my little idea in writing Statement of Purpose and research proposals, I have assisted in dispatching few of my friends to Australia for the studies.
When little things that I can do is able to stretch the muscles of smiles in the faces of the people, whether known or unknown, that is one thing I am always passionate to continue. But more than everything, as an educator for the last 10 years, I know, meaningful self-learning occurs only in the process of teaching others.
As an additional package of my presentation, I have shared on how to use SPSS for data analysis. I have also briefed them that SPSS is not only the solution for data analysis. In fact, there are myriads of other alternatives such as Microsoft Excel that can almost function like SPSS. They were also informed about choosing the right statistic test based on the data gathered from their study. 
In the next week, I have been given another privilege to share with 33 principals from the two districts of Tsirang and Dagana.  

Began teaching SPSS in a small way
“Gaining knowledge is the first step to wisdom. Sharing it is the first step to humanity” – Unknown  

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