There is no hope of doing perfect research (Griffiths, 1998, p97), do you agree? Before attempting to answer this question, it is important to look at the definition and the meaning of research. According to the scholar Cresswell, “research is a process of steps used to collect and analyze information to increase our understanding of a topic or issue”(3). Cambridge online dictionary defines research is “a detailed study of a subject, especially in order to discover (new) information or reach a (new) understanding”. Based on theoretical framework, research can be either quantitative or qualitative.
It is undeniably that research has become an essential for producing knowledge in numerous fields such as science, technology, design, psychology, education, and so on. Since the purpose of research is for advancement of human knowledge, the perfection of research has been a topic of argument of professionals. From my perspective, I agree that perfect research does not exist.
As the name suggests, research means inquiry of a subject again to probe and attain a new understanding. From this point, it could be argued if perfect research exists, there will be no question and no necessity to carry out further studies in the topic or area that the perfect research has done. In this sense, perfection would be a padlock that prevents any possibility for further examination and scrutiny. Adding new understanding to the existing bank of knowledge would be impossible.
Perfection is a state of being complete and correct in every way without any fault. Research, either quantitative or qualitative, is a human activity that always involves some sort of errors or defects. There are numerous reasons for questioning validity and reliability of qualitative research, and the commonest concern is personal bias. Every researcher has an individual way to carry out a project. Interests and beliefs cause the researcher to formulate questions in a particular way. Data collection methods and data interpretation are influenced by the world view of the researcher (Mutch,14). Participants also bring issues of bias as their viewpoints (Mills,81). Hence, biases are unavoidable and are sources contribute to flaws of research. Different results or even contradictory findings are possible when research conducts in the same area with a similar topic by different people involved. Let me refer to two examples both carried out in Hong Kong in the early childhood education. It could perhaps elucidate the matter when different researchers choose different participants.
A study on teaching reform reveals that the kindergarten teachers faced challenges of dealing with dilemmas of implementing western teaching approach or meeting the Chinese parents’ expectations of children’s academic learning. The teachers reported that the parents felt very anxious about children’s writing and mathematical skills if they promote children to learn through investigation and exploration (Pui-Wah,234)....