Dissertation Topics in Education [Updated 2018]
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The aim of this guide is to aid in selecting Dissertation Topics in Education and to give practical assistance in how to structure said work.
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Education dissertations cover a wide range, from child development and early years education to the impact of government policy. Generally, writing an Education dissertation involves careful selection of the research question, how to design the data collection vehicle and how to interpret the results.
2.0. Categories and Dissertation Titles
2.1. The Influence on Achievement of Social Factors such as Class, Gender and Ethnicity
The degree to which Piaget’s concept of a fixed developmental sequence in children is a social construct: critically evaluate in relation to research into the developmental experience of ethnic minority children in the UK.
Has the ‘Narrowing the Gap’ agenda made a significant difference to the achievement of any underachieving group in UK schools. Evaluate in relation to the experience of one such group.
In what ways does the ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’ of gender differentiation influence classroom interactions in secondary school. A qualitative study.
The impact of financial cuts to local authority central support services for children from ethnic minorities: a qualitative study of the impact on primary schools.
Monolingualism and bilingualism; how do young children with a home language other than English fare in Early Years education: a qualitative study of Foundation stage.
2.2. Child Development
To what extent is Bowlby et al’s emphasis on mother-child attachment a product of its social and cultural backgroundEvaluate in relation to more recent research emphasizing the importance of significant others in a child’s development.
How important is play in promoting success in early literacy; a quantitative study.
The more limited a child’s experiences with language and literacy the more likely he or she will have difficulty learning to read. Evaluate this statement in the light of recent research.
Teacher knowledge, respect and support for the diversity of children’s families, cultures, and linguistic backgrounds are as important in early literacy development as high quality teaching: a qualitative study.
2.3. Parents and schools
Do activities which link home and school improve children’s achievement: a qualitative study.
How important is the link between supportive parental involvement and children’s early literacy development: a qualitative study/
Do primary school teachers view parents as assets: a qualitative study.
Should curriculum and assessment be more closely linked and what methods could be used to achieve this. Evaluate in relation to the experience of secondary school children.
Has the National Curriculum been a successCritically examine in the light of research into pupils perceptions.
Using IT for teaching for literacy, maths and science: a qualitative study of teacher’s perceptions.
Is the ‘dumbing down’of exams a reality or a media creation : a qualitative study of GCSE exam papers.
2.5. Teaching methodology
Should EFL/ESL teaching methods be used in teaching native speakers of English. Assess in relation to a particular group of primary school children.
What can teachers learn from the practice of problem-based learning and should these methods be more common in our schools : a qualitative study
In order for students to learn efficiently and effectively, it is essential for teachers to understand the different learning styles that they possess. A quantitative study of primary school children.
Can the concept of reflective practice be used to help children learn in UK schools: a qualitative study of secondary education
What methods, policies and strategies are in place in UK schools to improve the achievement of diverse learners: a quantitative study.
Do cooperative and collaborative learning methods have a positive effect on student achievement: a quantitative study
Teaching children to read: an overview of different methods used and evaluation of the ‘real’ books vs reading schemes debate
2.7. Politics and Policy in Education
Has Sure Start brought about improved outcomes for young childrenEvaluate in the light of recent research.
Do SATs create a curriculum where ‘teaching to the tests’ becomes the normEvaluate in respect of recent research.
Has Every Child a Talker improved language outcomes for young English language learners in inner city schools: a quantitative study.
Have 14-19 policies in the UK been a success: a qualitative study
2.8. Early Years Education
To what extent is the structure of early years education in the UK influenced by Piaget et al’s theory of a fixed developmental sequence. Critically evaluate in the light of childrens’ experience in ‘alternative’ forms of education.
In what ways has our understanding of the processes of learning and teaching been influenced by Vygotsky’s theoryCritically evaluate in relation to the experience of a group of primary school pupils.
How important is rich teacher talk in developing early literacy: evaluate in the the light of current research.
Teaching children to read; a qualitative study of the impact of phonological awareness on early readers.
Managing the transition from Foundation stage to Year 1: an evaluation of best practice.
2.9. Teacher Education
What knowledge about IT is taught in teacher education and how do teachers use it to support teaching and learning. A qualitative study.
The teacher as facilitator: a quantitative study of the weight given to the facilitator as opposed to knowledge provider in teacher education.
Is continuing professional development for teachers in the UK effective: a qualitative study based on teacher’s perceptions.
2.10. Primary Education
The impact of support staff in small rural primary schools: a qualitative study
Teacher or child-initiated: a qualitative study of best practice in the primary classroom
2.11. Home Schooling
How significant is the role of IT in home schooling: a qualitative study.
Motivational factors for choosing home schooling: a qualitative study.
Academic achievement and socialization amongst home-schooled university students: a quantitative study.
How well do home-schooled children perform when they return to school: a qualitative study.
Do learners with SEN benefit from personalized learning programmes: a qualitative study in primary school
Does inclusion in the mainstream classroom benefit pupils with SEN: a qualitative study of primary schools
3.0. How to structure an Education dissertation
The dissertation paper needs to consist of an abstract, introduction, review of literature, methods, findings, references and appendices.
The abstract section needs to include a summary of the research problem or purpose, summary of the research design, summary of the treatment(s), and summary of the results.
Introduction section – background of the study and significance of the problem in context
The Review of Literature Section – review of the relevant and related literature, including a theoretical rationale of the problem, need for the study, potential significance of the results, and the specific research hypothesis
Methodology Section – Identification and description of the subjects, instrumentation used in the data collection, any ethical issues involved and the procedures used to collect the data
Reference Section-alphabetical listing of all referenced text
2.2 Child Development
Ainsworth, M.1985. “Patterns of Attachment.” Clinical Psychologist 38 (2):27–29.
Bowlby, J.. 1988. A Secure Base: Parent-Child Attachment and Healthy Human Development. New York: Basic Books.
2.3. Parents and Schools
Epstein J, Sheldon S. (2002) Present and accounted for: improving student attendance through family and community involvement. The Journal of Educational Research;
Green CL, Walker JMT, Hoover-Dempsey KV, Sandler HM. (2007) Parents’ motivations for involvement in children’s education: an empirical test of a theoretical model of parental involvement. Journal of Educational Psychology
Izzo CV, Weissberg RP, Kasprow WJ, Fendrich M. (1999) A longitudinal assessment of teacher perceptions of parent involvement in children’s education and school performance. American Journal of Community Psychology
Lord, P. & Jones, M. (2006) Pupils’ experiences and perspectives of the national curriculum and assessment: final report for the research review; QCA
2.5. Teaching Methodology
Hedge, T. (2000) Teaching and Learning in the Language Classroom. Oxford: Oxford University Press,
Richards, J. & Renandya, W. (eds.). 2002. Methodology in Language Teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
2.6. Politics and Policy
Dockrell, J. ; Stuart, M. & King, D. (2010) Supporting early oral language skills for English language learners in inner city preschool provision ; British Journal of Educational Psychology
2.8. Teacher Education
Pedder, D. & Darleen Opfer, V. (2011) Are We Realising the Full Potential of Teachers’ Professional Learning in Schools in England Professional Development in Education
2.9. Primary Education
Blatchford, P., Russell, A., Bassett, P., Brown P. & Martin, C. (2004) The role and effects of teaching assistants in English primary schools (Years 4 to 6) 2000-2003
Sanders, D., White, G., Burge, B., Sharp, C., Eames, A., McCune, R & Grayson, H. (2005) A study of the transition from the Foundation Stage to Key Stage 1.
Sammons, P., Elliot, K., Sylva, K., Melhuish, E., Siraj Blatchford, I. and Taggart, B. (2004) The impact of pre-school on young children’s cognitive attainments at entry to reception.
Dyson, A., Farrell, P., Polat, F., Hutcheson, G. and Gallanaugh, F. (2004) Inclusion and pupil achievement
Kalambouka, A., Farrell, P., Dyson, A. and Kaplan, I. (2005) The impact of population inclusivity in schools on student outcomes
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