The Pioneer Research Program

Matthew Jaskol
Pioneer Academics
30 S 15th St 15th floor
Philadelphia, PA 19102
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The Pioneer Research Program
Creativity and critical reasoning: how Pioneer scholars leverage divergent and convergent thinking in generating original research questions

Formulating an original research question can be a daunting task–especially for a high school student. Amy Li, Founding Director of Pioneer Academics, describes a Pioneer scholar in Anthropology who was struggling to generate a research topic. While the student knew she needed to be creative, she felt limited by the constraints of the research process. Seeing that she was stuck, her professor suggested that observe her social surroundings and write down fifty questions about her observations. Through this exercise, she was able to generate ideas freely without constraints. Only after she had written these fifty questions did she begin to think critically to evaluate them and choose the most appropriate research question. In doing so, she was able to find a research topic that was both original and feasible. 

Research requires two types of thinking. The first, divergent thinking, is creative thinking in which an individual comes up with new ideas that are different from what he or ...more