Take for instance, a healthy child begins to lose weight. The parent or guardian may want to find out the cause. If they realize that the child had been refusing feeds during that period, they might want to associate the weight loss to poor nutrition. To further confirm this stance, a researcher may be interested in determining the extent of relationship between poor nutrition and weight loss. As such, whenever something goes wrong, we normally would want to find out the cause. This underscores the importance of problem identification to problem solving. Once the real problem is identified, the real solution can then be sought.
The point of departure of any meaningful research exercise is to clearly identify problem(s) for which the fact-finding exercise of a research seeks to solve or the questions it seeks to provide answers to. Uzoagulu (1998) loosely defines problem as anything which hinders progress and impede the realization of stated intention of objectives. Any problem which has solution or whose solution cannot be attained through empirical methods of investigation does not merit the attention of research. Problems from which research topics can be derived from are those that do not have immediate solution and whose solutions are amenable to empirical investigation.
At the end of this Lesson, you should learn about: