This week in our expe(e)rtise corner Hanna Dumont answers a short Q&A about educational research and remembering what science is actually about.
How did you end up in research?
I was still in high school, when the PISA 2000 study was published and revealed the high levels of educational inequality in Germany. I had a really great teacher who made the PISA study a topic in class. This is when I first learned about educational research. I don’t remember this, but my teacher told me many years later, when I had started my PhD in Educational Psychology that I told her back then, that I wanted to be an educational researcher.
What is your focus?
The early PISA findings that made me want to be in educational research also influenced my research focus: the study of educational inequalities! After having focused on factors in schools and families that cause inequalities I am now particularly interested in finding out, which pedagogical approaches can reduce inequalities.
What is it that fascinates you about research and science?
There is always so much more to learn!
What are the biggest challenges?
Because there is always so much more to learn, you sometimes don’t know when to stop!
Looking back at your experiences, what’s your most important recommendation for
…a student deciding upon her/his field:
do what you are passionate about!
….a doctoral candidate choosing a topic an research group:
choose a topic that your advisor is an expert on!
….a postdoctoral researcher:
fake it till you make it!
We are all great in handling success, but what’s your mantra to handle rejections?
I remind myself what really counts in life ! Plus eating good food!
What are key challenges we have to overcome?
My impression is that the pressure to publish has increased in recent years. I hope that we don’t forget that science is about advancing knowledge not finding as many least publishable units as possible.
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