To be a critical researcher is to be an archeologist searching for hidden remnants of the past. Much like the archeologist that first identifies an area to excavate, a critical researcher must first identify an issue he wishes to explore. In this post, I’ll be talking about difficulties you will encounter when researching inner-city LA schools. The following Kandice Sumner TED video titled How America’s public schools keep kids in poverty explains a lot as well:
About researching: An archeologist will carefully and diligently remove layers of sediment, and in the process catalog small samples to analyze later in a lab. Likewise, the critical researcher will analyze the underlying causes of the problem he is researching. While the tools each professional uses differ, brush and chisel, versus interviews and surveys, their goals are alike: they search to unearth the forgotten corpses veiled by history.
While the oppressors are armed with millions of dollars, armies, and power, a critical researcher has only his eyes.
To be critical is to be aware, and to be aware, you must have a keen eye. A critical researcher must be proficient in recognizing things others do not see as important. As an archeologist, you must be able to look at small bits and pieces of clay and conclude what object they fell off of, and from what time period they originated.