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I would add that if you intend to do this project again, ask THIS YEAR's students what would have helped them with this assignment. What could YOU have done differently? What would THEY have done differently? What would they have found helpful? Have them look at the assignment sheet and find out what was confusing. Have them tell you what worked--directions, topics, time, anything they found that worked well for them. This can be a real eye opener and the approach must be that you and the students are working together to improve a necessary assignment.
I have always been and continued to be fascinated by research in the field of behavior modification. I think it is one of the most relevant studies for classroom teachers, as it is an immediate issue they will face on a daily basis. Studying different psychological ideas and then putting these ideas into practice results in research that is immediately applicable, and very often, positively profitable.
I'm always thinking about ways to become a more effective teacher. Though my lesson plans change and adapt, I very often find a niche that tends to work consistently. Behavior problems, however, are always changing. The dynamics of classroom personalities vs. my personality, the challenge of challenging students, and the desire to create a healthy learning environment keep me always interested in the psychology of behavior and education.
I agree that it's important to pick a research topic that's important to you. I find that it's helpful to walk around my school (physically or mentally) as though I'm a new teacher or student. What seems to work? More importantly, what doesn't seem to work. This is always a good starting point for me to begin research. I also reflect on my days in school. Do I remember what really bugged me? How could I make it better for today's students? The process of just opening your mind and looking for solutions will help you to back track to a research question. You have a great opportunity to look outside the box, and maybe end of with results that will improve the education process. Good Luck!
Choose something that is meaningful to you. Think of your experience in school as a student or from a teacher's perspective. What has always bothered you? Have you always questioned why things are done a certain way? Is there anything you feel can be improved? Choose something you're passionate about.
I actually taught a course based on Educational Research where the students as part of their study to become teachers had to conduct a small scale research project. They always came up with really fascinating ideas. Here are a few:
1) Does listening to music whilst taking tests improve scores?
2) What is the impact of publishing results of work to the entire class? Does it help students to improve?
3) Does the layout of a classroom make teaching more effective?
4) To what extent do students learn better if IT is incorporated into lessons as opposed to traditional teaching?
5) Which teaching approaches appeal more to different learning styles?
6) Does homework actually improve performance?
7) How can feedback on work best improve student performance?
All fascinating topics! Enjoy!
If I had access to the data, I would analyze the impact of the standardized high stakes tests that are becoming more prevalent as a result of NCLB. I would attempt to determine the actual amount of classroom time being devoted to learning how to take tests and how to answer test items, and then evaluate whether the test items being used to practice for the tests have any relationship to the core curriculum information that students are supposed to be learning.
If I was to do any kind of study right now I would research if online education is economically feasible and as good or better than the education that occurs in a normal instructional day.
This is really becoming an issue in an economic day and age like this one. Particularly in high school, much time is devoted to the management of students and putting a specific amount of seat time into the school year in order to achieve goals set by state boards of education. If students can complete school in less time, should they be able to? If students could use more time, should they be able to? Can a computer or video-conferencing replace the interactive experience of classroom instruction?
I agree that you would first need to narrow your search field.
Outside of that, examination of types learning could be good. You could examine how students learn. Are they visual learners, audio learners, etc.
Given the change in the curriculum, the move to the Common Core, you could examine the impact of more non-fiction texts over the fiction typically taught in classes.
Again, without being narrowed, this is a very hard question to answer.
There are so many possible areas that you could research that it might be helpful if you could narrow it down for us a bit by telling us what general field(s) you might be interested in.
For example, you might be interested in the teaching of reading. If that is the case, you might want to look at various methods for teaching reading and try to determine their respective levels of effectiveness. You could examine how students using the various methods or curricula do in terms of their improvement from year to year on standardized tests.
As another example, you might be interested in studying a bigger picture issue. One such issue might be charter schools. You might look at whether charter schools are able to do a better job than traditional public schools with similar student bodies.
Research in education can cover a vast range of topics. These are topics that would interest me. What general areas interest you?
What are some good topics to research about ESL?
I would like to do some research on what is the best time of the year to administer the standardised tests in numeracy and literacy. Traditionally, we do these towards the end of May, perhaps into early June; hoping to leave as much term time as possible for teachers to cover the courses without getting too near to the holiday time when we risk kids 'losing focus'. But I know there is the option of administering the tests in the Autumn, say after the first few weeks of term when everyone has had a chance to settle in and has gotten into a good routine of work.
I think that there are many different topics that you can do research on for a classroom or in most any educational field. Once you determine a field of study (science, language, social studies, etc), then you can determine a focus. I suggest keeping the topics age appropriate. For example, younger students might be more interested in researching something about recycling or animals while older students could relate more to things such as teen pregnancies and the war on drugs.
Hope this helps!
Do students in poorer school buildings have lower achievement scores than those in better buildings?
• Do students in better equipped classrooms have better achievement scores than those in less well-equipped classrooms?
• Do students in schools where the teachers have better teacher housing have higher achievement than students in schools where teachers have poorer teacher housing?
• Do male students do better than female students in the scientific/technical subject areas
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