Monday, April 18, 2011
RESEARCHING WITH PRE-CONCEIVED CONCLUSIONS: A DISCREDIT TO SARAH WARSHAUER FREEDMAN, HARVEY M. WEINSTEIN, KAREN MURPHY, AND TIMOTHY LONGMAN: By Dr. Eugene NDABAGA and Charles GAHIMA
RESEARCHING WITH PRE-CONCEIVED CONCLUSIONS: A DISCREDIT TO SARAH WARSHAUER FREEDMAN, HARVEY M. WEINSTEIN, KAREN MURPHY, AND TIMOTHY LONGMAN
The work of these unprofessional and unethical researchers is a Research that deconstructs Rwanda as a Nation. From the very title of their Article: Teaching History after Identity-Based Conflicts; one clearly sees ENEMIES OF RWANDA and Researchers not worthy of the name Researchers.
The article in question emanates from a joint research with education stakeholders in Rwanda led by the National Curriculum Center (NCDC). The research aimed at developing a new approach to the teaching history after the 1994 Tutsis genocide.
A book whose copyright was owned by NCDC “TEACHING THE HISTORY OF RWANDA: A PARTICIPATORY APPROCH” was developed. From the onset, the above unethical researchers wanted to own the copyright of this book to no avail. They resorted to plagiarism and distorted the facts from the book to fit their line of thinking reflected in their article entitled: TEACHING HISTORY AFTER INDENTITY BASED CONFLICTS: THE RWANDA EXPERIENCE.
Let us take some highlights of their naked lies in their article:
1. “In Rwanda tensions were heightened by the government’s educational policy, which stipulated that only its official historical narrative should be transmitted. “
This is not correct. There is no such a thing in education policy. Where is the source on which these researchers based this assertion?
2. “In a post genocidal context that continues to be marked by repression, we found, through our research, that educators may inhibit disagreements— including potentially productive ones—for fear of their erupting into larger and more destructive conflicts. We argue that suppressing open debate might actually lay the foundation for further societal violence.”
This is a deliberate distortion of facts because the research in question brought together all education stakeholders as is reflected in the TEACHING HISTORY OF RWANDA: PARTICIPARTORY APPROACH book. Moreover, debates on the history of Rwanda had been on for 5 years before the research in question was initiated.
“3. In Rwanda, given the extent and severity of destructive conflicts and an increasingly repressive government, the political landscape is fraught with difficulties that intensify fears about productive conflicts. Those with power are primarily Tutsi who grew up as refugees outside the country but who returned after a rebel army they supported ended the 1994 genocide and took control of the country. A small but powerful minority, they hold definite ideas about Rwandan history that are not in harmony with those held by many Rwandans (Pottier 2002; Longman and Rutagengwa 2004; Straus 2006). “
This is not true; it simply portrays researchers with preconceived sectarian and divisive stance against the government of national unity. The sources quoted are themselves widely known for their biased data and equally compromised interpretive scheme against Rwanda.
By any standard of research, SARAH WARSHAUER FREEDMAN, HARVEY M. WEINSTEIN, KAREN MURPHY, and TIMOTHY LONGMAN were very irresponsible because they relied on ideas held by Pottier 2002; Longman and Rutagengwa 2004; Straus 2006 who are equally notorious for distortion of facts on Rwanda. No responsible scholar can ever use data that she or he has not verified. Where it is necessary to use information that is impossible to confirm, you need to stipulate clearly that any conclusions reached on the basis of this information are tentative and unverified. In order to make unqualified assertions, you need to verify every bit of the data (Nakanyike B. Musisi & Edgar C. Taylor III 2010)
One of the pre-conceived conclusions and unprofessional nature of SARAH WARSHAUER FREEDMAN, HARVEY M. WEINSTEIN, KAREN MURPHY, and TIMOTHY LONGMAN is reflected again in their following unethical statements within their research:
4. “During this research, the Rwandan project coordinators and leaders were Anglophone Tutsi returnees from Uganda, the group with the most political power. The chief writer was a Francophone Tutsi returnee from the Democratic Republic of Congo, the second most influential group in Rwanda today. Most of the working group leaders were Francophone. As such, the leaders may not be representative of the overall population, as it is difficult to find all groups equitably represented in positions of power in the country. While aware of these limitations, we were cognizant that entry into the educational system required collaboration with those in power. The onus was on our research group to ensure that other voices entered the curriculum design process.
Curriculum Designers in this research were selected on the basis of their abilities and areas of specialization not on any other ground. Therefore, the classification of research participants on the basis of origins in terms of language abilities and assumed power relations is simply a creation of the authors; which is in itself unethical and would most likely negatively influence interpretation of data generated in this research. As such, conclusions based on wrong premises have no credibility and research outcomes are in this case void.
5.“For all of the workshops and seminars, our Rwandan collaborators agreed to try to balance participants according to ethnicity, as well as other variables related to power—including experience with the genocide, length of time living in Rwanda, gender, and geographical region”.
One would pause a number of questions:
a. How did these unprofessional researchers know that the project coordinator was a Tutsi?
b. How did they know that the chief writer was a Tutsi?
c. What could have been the intention of approaching this research from the ethnic perspective really?
d. there was no single moment when we were requested to sit according to our ethnic groups and geographical regions.
e. If they took their time to find out clandestinely which ethnic group and region an individual member belonged to then, the research was already biased and unethical whose outcomes could not be credible.
By simple analysis, these claims echo some of RWANDAN fugitives and political renegades roaming around the U.S.A from whom SARAH WARSHAUER FREEDMAN, HARVEY M. WEINSTEIN, KAREN MURPHY, AND TIMOTHY LONGMAN appear to be affiliated to, get such unprofessional information for their own interest.