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writing strategies for future PhD holders

How To Pick Good Dissertation Topics In Primary Education

Deciding upon a fascinating subject for your dissertation is always a tricky task. Here are some hints to help you get started:

  1. Choose something in your area of knowledge that you enjoy, so you have a solid foundation on which to build your essay. For instance, do you feel that more exercise will help a child concentrate better during lessons?
  2. Make sure your idea is significant in your field and that a reasonable amount of literature exists for research. Have a clear understanding before you start of what the research will involve.
  3. Can your supervisor and fellow students see the value of your idea? Communication with your supervisor is essential.
  4. Make sure it is not something you obsess about so that you are unable to stay objective.
  5. Do not repeat the same old projects. On the other hand, make sure the project is do-able – if you choose your topic on the sole criteria that no one has done it before there might be a valid reason, such as no evidence.
  6. If some older research interests you, present it in a new light; leave the reader with a feeling of “I never thought of it that way before.”
  7. A great topic might interest researchers who follow after you and perhaps help other teachers who are looking for advice.
  8. Avoid ambiguity, be specific but again avoid loaded questions. Never create a question with a yes or no answer.

Things to consider:

Is your topic too broad or too narrow? Ensure your work is measurable.

You want to talk about support in schools for Special Educational Needs. That subject is too broad, talk about specific support for dyslexia or language delay.

Have you loaded your question with assumptions?

‘Are the needs of gifted children met in first school?’ seems to make the assumption that they are not met.

Similarly the question, ‘What is the effect of a working mother on a child’s learning?’ seems to convey an unfavorable attitude.

Both of these could be reworded to be useful topic choices.

Other ideas.

  • Does learning through play in preschool make it more difficult for a child to settle in first school?
  • Should you identify the child’s learning style to aid learning?
  • Would eating more healthily aid learning?
  • Is testing to measure achievement interfering with early years learning?
  • Has the Information Age left schools behind in the Industrial Age?
  • Was the primary education received by their parents of more value to them than the tuition the current pupils receive? 
 

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