Contributor: Maroof Ahmed & Magello Fenis | Editor: Supriyono
Mainly targeted at fourth-semester students who are currently completing their MA thesis, the event invited Mr. Wahyudi Akmaliah, a researcher at the Research Center for Society and Culture at the National Research and Innovation Agency (PMB-BRIN), who is also a Ph.D. candidate at the Department of Malay Studies, National University of Singapore (NUS).
During the event, Mr. Akmaliah singled out a sufficient amount of knowledge on fieldwork that is highly necessary among young scholars, especially in the context of social sciences which here includes education.
“Fieldwork is significant in social research because it allows students and researchers to observe and examine how scientific theories interact with real life,” Mr. Akmaliah explained.
The much-detailed instructions on conducting fieldwork are explained by Mr. Akmaliah which are helpful for the aspiring researchers as they would provide how to conduct a study based on practical and ethical considerations.
His presentation ranged from various types of fieldwork including qualitative observation, ethnographic study, comparative method, survey method, and case study. Book references were also encouraged for further reading such as “From Vienna to Yogyakarta: The Life of Herb Feith” by Jemma Purdey and “Can the Subaltern Speak?” by Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak.
Mr. Akmaliah also highlighted that establishing a network with both institutions and individual is the key to fieldwork study, including with Indonesian NGOs, religious communities, and scholars. He also encouraged the students to follow social media accounts and groups to keep up with current events.
Albeit the event was conducted by the FoE, a significant number of students from other faculties appeared to also attend the event. Saemah from the Faculty of Social Sciences, who is currently conducting research for her thesis, testified that the event was immensely useful for her.
“It was a valuable reminder of what is important to prioritize and what to be cautious of [while doing fieldwork]," Saemah said, adding that she primarily enjoyed the event given the speaker's sense of humor whilst presenting the materials.