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Topic Proposal Assignment Instructions
The purpose of the Topic Proposal Assignment is to propose topics, research questions, and articles for three upcoming assignments: Annotated Bibliography Assignment, Philosopher Analysis Assignment, and Historical Topic Analysis Assignment. The Topic Proposal Template serves as a planning device to scaffold the other three assignments. Instructor feedback will help the candidate ensure that plans are sufficient to move forward. As candidates select topics and develop research questions, they demonstrate some degree of knowledge of educational ideas of the past, consider the relevance of the topic, analyze the topic in light of their own educational philosophy, and begin to develop a critical analysis of their topics.
In the Topic Proposal Assignment, you will select topics, construct research questions, and begin choosing journal articles for three upcoming assignments:
Annotated Bibliography Assignment (Module 3: Week 3)
Philosopher Analysis Assignment (Module 5: Week 5)
Historical Topic Analysis Assignment (Module 7: Week 7)
Template: Download the Topic Proposal Template for this assignment and submit your responses within the template.
Educational Philosopher: From Appendix A of the Smith textbook, select one of the educational philosophers from the list. The philosopher you choose may or may not align with your own personal beliefs about education. Insert the name into the template. This will be the individual whose philosophy of education and application of that philosophy you will explore in the upcoming Philosopher Analysis Assignment.
Historical Topic: You have a great deal of latitude in proposing a topic for the Historical Topic Analysis Assignment, but it must be relevant to the foundations of education—philosophically, sociologically, politically, culturally, etc. Your topic should focus more on a historical event or movement rather than on individuals. Ideally, you should consider the historical aspects of a topic you already have in mind for your upcoming dissertation or capstone project. If you do not yet have an idea for the dissertation or capstone, you may do the following to decide on a topic:
oReview the table of contents and the index of the textbook.
oSkim through textbook chapters to get ideas from the list of key terms, bold words, and images.
oRead the Reflection questions at the end of each chapter.
Topics may be events, educational movements, laws, court decisions, trends, developments, etc. Topics may or may not be found in the textbook. Be as specific in your topic selection as possible. For instance, instead of studying something broad like “medieval education,” narrow it to “emergence of universities in the Middle Ages” or “methods of teaching in medieval Scholasticism.” Watch the 3-minute video on How to Narrow a Research Topic by considering time, location, category, and issue.
Two Research Questions: Insert a research question into the template for each of your topics. Watch the 4-minute video on Developing a Research Question. The research question should be clear, focused, and concise. However, it should be complex enough that it is not answerable with a simple yes or no, but rather requires synthesis and analysis of ideas and sources prior to composition of an answer.
Two References: List a journal article reference in APA format for each topic. The article title should be relevant to the corresponding topic and research question.
Reference Format: You need only to list the reference with proper APA format (see APA Format Quick Guide), including hanging indention, proper capitalization, italicization, punctuation, etc. You need not write anything about the article. The purpose is to get you started in selecting articles and to practice APA reference format for journal articles.
Databases: Search the Jerry Falwell Library Education Databases of journals on the topic of education. You may want to begin with Academic Search Ultimate or Education Research Complete. Ensure that the articles are from professional, academic journals. Avoid searching for articles using generic search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo!, etc.