Vol. 4 No. 1 (2021): January-June [Edition closing: 01/01/2021]
Suggested quote (APA, seventh edition)
Echevarría Gamarra, C., & Hernández Rojas, A. (2020). Graduates as an alternative to the training of researchers: a proposal with a theoretical and technological base. Delectus, 4(1), 1-15. https://doi.org/10.36996/delectus.v4i1.97
This work is linked to a previous theoretical work in the framework of the training of researchers and in the same line of work as Jose Padrón Guillén, where the need to update researchers is highlighted, having as alternatives the graduates, as a quick and easy optionto meet this need, in a sustained effort to renew generations and take advantage of the experience of researchers already trained. The proposal attempts to lay the theoretical foundations for the training of researchers with a synchronic and diachronic perspective, with a rationalist epistemological orientation, with which this applicative study is supported.Keywords: training of researchers;diachronic perspective;synchronous perspective;investigative didactics.
The variety of forms that can be accessed for the training of researchers is often limited by academic and curricular demands, which seek to professionalize researchers through long-standing processes.This is how there are offers of specializations, masters, doctorates and post-doctorates, valuable and of high impact in the research community, but now, many of them are affected by the quarantine and isolation conditions to which the population has been forced inoverall, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In many cases this has generated improvisation and haste when making decisions and incorporating, almost improvised, unknown technological resources, many of which are not adapted to the needs of the groups and the strategies that were already being developed.
In this sense, and in a previous work describing this problem and its impact on the training of researchers (Hernández Rojas & Echevarría Gamarra, 2020), this proposal points to the design of diplomas for the training of researchers, with a theoretical and technological base thatfacilitate permanent updating and allow, through management techniques, the review of results with criteria that guarantee permanent evaluation of trained or updated professionals, depending on the needs of each academic environment.
Framed within the same line of work that is developed for the training of researchers from different instances and spaces, and in the same line of work that many recognized and highly experienced researchers have been contributing to the training of researchers, this proposal is a modest I try to consolidate the diplomas as an alternative with a theoretical and technological base, that function permanently and continuously, without external circumstances radically affecting this important academic activity. The proposal is based on a Research Theory and Technology (Padrón Guillén, 2016; 2020), based on a Rationalist-Deductivist epistemological orientation, with which this application-type study is supported, according to the diachronic phases of the processes of research, which the same author proposes in his theory. It is assumed as an attempt to improve the training conditions for researchers in a systematic and sustained manner, including permanent reviews of the internal process and the results generated from it, in terms of being able to locate the researchers trained to multiply experiences, incorporate new researchers as solid support to the project, generate repositories of strategies that innovate the activity of teaching and learning to research and manage the training of researchers, as a way of facilitating the review and improvement of it, among other intentions. The proposal presented here derives the bases for the training of researchers from graduates in the area of research as a foundation and core of fundamental training and, later, it intends to expand towards the design of specific curricular networks, which attend the training of researchers with diplomas for the area of education and administration.
1. THE CONTEXT OF THE PROPOSAL
The concern to train researchers is old and occupies a place as important as teaching. But the most notable difference in this work is, in our opinion, the weight that has been given to it through the professionalization of researchers from academic degrees, occupying an important and indisputable weight in the curricular designs of universities. However, beyond this important professionalization, in this work it is interesting to highlight the need for permanent updating, taking advantage of the human resource already trained in postgraduate and postdoctoral studies so that with their contribution the training of new researchers and updating of those already trained, who need to reinforce specific areas of their training. From this perspective, the proposal that is presented can be seen as a highly weighted contribution within the movement of training researchers who have been developing researchers with long experience, contributing to the attention of this academic sector that should have the same priority as teaching. Many are the questions that can be stated to describe this situation that has certain deficiencies, particularly at present, where the conditions of isolation and confinement due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in many cases force to divert attention to activities exclusively teachers, due to the urgency and importance that the sector has, especially in terms of the attention of the participants and the closure of complex and cumbersome administrative processes. We can ask ourselves how to attend in a timely way the training of researchers? What options does the academy offer for immediate training? What theoretical or technological areas need to be attended? What type of researcher is being trained? Are they only professionalizing or also updating their researchers? These are just some questions describe the need to offer a system for the permanent updating of researchers where the offer of graduates is seen as a possible option and, based on it, generate a network of varied and theoretically supported seminars that guarantee solid foundations in this key area for research. Hence, supporting the proposal with a Research Theory and Technology (Padrón Guillén, 2020), allows the design of diplomas that contain seminars that incorporate strategies and resources oriented to specific areas according to the needs of researchers. Thus, one of the aspects that is most expected to be addressed are strategies and resources, considering that research is a transindividual process, but also differentiated by the particularities that each researcher prints and contributes to it, as argued by Casimiro Urcos et al. (2019, p. 1471):
The teaching of scientific research, as has been pointed out, cannot be general or personal.A mathematician is not taught to investigate in the same way as a chemist, nor a philosopher in the same way as a sociologist.The new didactics is based on the idea of a historical process in which numerous operations and temporary tasks occur and intertwine.Since the construction of knowledge is neither a unitary act nor a monolithic phenomenon, its teaching can be strategically and tactically programmed.
Hence, the proposal assumes the graduates as a range of options that offer different areas of training for researchers, attending not only to particular and academic needs, but also in response to the social commitment that academia has as training researchers, as statedParedes et al. (2020, p. 110):
The teaching of research has become a priority that leads to the quality of education, by assuming as an implicit and explicit curriculum the training of third and fourth level researchers, with a clear awareness of their commitment to society and the immediate contextwhere they intervene as professionals.This in response to the great debt of the academy with humanity, having lost sight of the meaning of university education for decades, measuring the social impact of science and technology is a pending issue for most nations.
The statement is confirmed by the report of the Ibero-American Ranking of Higher Education Institutions (IES), SIR Iber 2020, in the analysis of the research production situation according to the participation of researchers in publications:
The growth of Chile, Mexico and Colombia exceeds 7,000 jobs compared to the previous five-year period, which represents a growth rate for Mexico of 6%, while for Chile and Colombia it exceeds 10% (12% and 13% respectively).However, some countries in group 2 experience accelerated growth in their production relative to existing capacities.Such is the case of Ecuador and Peru with growth rates of 46% and 24% respectively.Venezuela and Jamaica are the only ones that show negative growth, specifically the case of Venezuela implies a decrease in the number of publications close to 600 works in the 2014-2018 period in relation to the 2013-2017 five-year period.(De-Moya-Anegón, et al., 2020, p. 11).
But publications is only one line to evaluate research production within the training of researchers, since in order to publish, you have to research, you have to produce knowledge and, consequently, you have to train researchers.
2. DIPLOMA FOR THE UPDATING OF RESEARCHERS: THE THEORETICAL AND TECHNOLOGICAL STRUCTURE.
To achieve this proposal, the design of diplomas aimed at developing investigative competencies is conceived from the synchronic and diachronic perspective of the research processes, in the same sense as Padrón Guillen (2018, pp. 5-6).
The research is analyzed in relation to a timeline, according to a before and after, according to its antecedents and consequences (…).
Synchronous Vision The investigation is analyzed in itself, regardless of the time, without considering its antecedents or its consequences.
Within this vision proposed by the author, there are two underlying elements that mark an important distinction in the research processes, and they are Epistemological Approaches (EE) and Thought Styles (EP). EPs are present in all researchers to a greater or lesser degree, and often with such undefined limits that it is difficult to differentiate them. These EPs from a cognitive explanation of the research processes are linked to EE, considered as “different modalities of planning, handling and solving problems in the world of science” (Padrón Guillen, 2020, p. 74).
Based on these theoretical considerations, the proposal to design diplomas for the training of researchers is based on the following premises:
A. Research can be analyzed from the diachronic vision, according to its location on a timeline, in agendas and in research programs, since it goes beyond the researcher, it is a transindividual fact that crosses the borders of its research and personal effort (see Figure Nº 1)
Figure 1. Diachronic perspective of research.
B. Investigations are processes that are approached from a synchronous vision that facilitates the internal review of the process.There it is important to locate an empirical component that describes the facts that are studied, a theoretical component that facilitates the explanation and interpretation of such facts, a methodological component that offers a set of procedures and operations to link the empirical and the theoretical and to generate investigative solutions, and a discursive component that collects the results of the entire process (see Figure Nº 2).
Figure 2. Synchronous research perspective
C. Researchers differ from each other, depending on the EP and the EE from which the research processes are approached, present throughout the history of the research, and which Padrón Guillén groups into three styles: Inductive-Concrete,Intutive-Experiential and Deductive-Abstract.The presence of these approaches is observed in each research process and in its development phases, so it is possible to have inductive, experiential or deductivist descriptive research, as well as inductive, experiential or deductivist explanatory research, and so on for each of theapproaches and development phases (see Figure Nº 3).These are the so-called basic research patterns, which when combined generate 12 different ways of solving problems according to the EE (Padrón Guillén, 1998).
Figure 3. Patterns generated according to the phases and EE
D. The notion of technology that is assumed here leaves aside the limited vision offered by the methodology from the academic curricula, which allows a broader field of specific actions, which point to each of the epistemological approaches and the phases of the research process.What is generated in this way are specific theories and technologies, for each of the EP, so that there is a Special Empiricist-Inductivist Theory and its derived technology, a Special Intuitive-Experiential Theory and its derived technology and a Special Deductive Theory-Abstract with its derived technology (see Figure Nº 4).
Figure 4.Theoretical components of the proposal
3. THE DIDACTIC ORGANIZATION OF RESEARCH TRAINING DIPLOMATES
3.1.Didactic orientation of the synchronous perspective for the training of researchers
Terminal Objective: To develop abilities and skills to approach the synchronic perspective of the research processes, taking as a starting point the epistemology and the empirical, theoretical, methodological and discursive components of the research. A. Epistemological didactic skills for approaching research processes:
B. Specific didactic competences from the synchronic ‘empirical’ perspective of research processes.
B.1 Demands and needs:
B.2. Research problems:
C. Specific didactic competences from the synchronic ‘theoretical’ perspective of research processes.
C. 2. The specific:
D. Specific didactic competences from the synchronic ‘methodological’ perspective of research processes.
D.1. Inductive technology.
D.2. Experiential technology
D.3. Deductive technologies
E. Specific didactic competences from the synchronic ‘discursive’ perspective of research processes.
E.1. The general:
E. 2. The specific:
|Epistemology of research processes||Epistemological didactic competences for approaching research processes.|
|Empirical didactics of research processes||Didactic 'empirical' competences of research processes.|
|Theoretical teaching of research processes||Didactic ‘theoretical’ competences of research processes.|
|Methodological didactics of research processes||Didactic 'methodological' competences of research processes.|
|Discursive teaching of research processes||Didactic ‘discursive’ competences of research processes.|
2.2. Didactic orientation of the diachronic perspective for the training of researchers.
Terminal Objective: To develop abilities and skills to approach the diachronic perspective of the research processes as a transindividual fact, starting from the development phases of said processes.
A. Specific didactic skills for approaching research processes as a transindividual fact.
B. Specific didactic competences for approaching the descriptive phase of research processes, considering the EE.
C. Specific didactic competences for approaching the explanatory phase of the research processes, considering the EE.
D. Specific didactic competences for the approach of the contrastive phase of the research processes, considering the EE.
E. Specific didactic skills for approaching the application phase of research processes, considering the EE.
From this second group of seminars a diploma is obtained to update researchers from the diachronic perspective of the research processes (see Table Nº 2).Table Nº 2.
|Transindividual and collective research processes||Didactic competences to approach research processes as a transindividual fact.|
|Descriptive didactics of research processes||Didactic skills for approaching the descriptive phase of research processes and EE.|
|Explanatory didactics of research processes||Didactic competences for approaching the explanatory phase of the research processes and the EE.|
|Contrastive didactics of research processes||Didactic competences to approach the contrastive phase of the research processes and the EE.|
|Application didactics of research processes||Specific didactic competences for approaching the application phase of research processes and EE.|
An important reference about Postdoctorates can be found in the document Logical Bases for the Curriculum Design of a Postdoctorate in Research Didactics, Padrón Guillén (2017), where the author highlights the importance of this instance of training to deepen the trainingof researchers with doctorates.
In this regard, it is possible to deepen in the article Styles of Thought and Social Exclusion (Padrón Guillén, 2008), where the author addresses the inter-theoretical relationship to explain the link between styles and approaches, with logical arguments and references from the history of science.
When designing this proposal, the need to review and improve it is implicit, as an inescapable commitment assumed by every researcher responsible for their research and the products it generates. In this sense, it is possible to establish certain mechanisms that allow the evaluation and monitoring of the proposal, in order to implement changes and improvements in the future. Hence, the following considerations are proposed:
As has been pointed out, the proposal is only an attempt to address the need for training researchers in a permanent, constant way, as is teaching, and, consequently, it cannot be seen as something finished or closed. Therefore, to the extent that the updating of researchers is strengthened, new options will be available and especially, viable, tangible and objective solutions can be offered, resulting in a better society since, to the extent that pertinent research is developed, to this extent, solutions are offered to problems and needs for urgent attention.
Hence, training spaces such as the one proposed here can be very helpful in promoting the organization of lines, groups and new groups of researchers, in the same sense as Fleck (1979), which in turn allow the design of agendas and programs research, in response to the demands of the communities and society in general.
Another aspect that enhances the training of researchers is the consolidation of research hotbeds, taking advantage of the experience of experienced and up-to-date researchers to train new researchers, with solid theoretical bases and critical thinking that facilitate the approach to research processes attached to reality and the most urgent needs to attend.
Specifically, the need to train researchers must be viewed with a broad and comprehensive vision; beyond the curricular and methodological notion, it must become a space for permanent interaction away from myths, manuals and recipes that prevent the researcher from making research a process of generating new, relevant and reality-based knowledge.
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