Independent Research in Education (ED495a)

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  • Research Tools

    Topic Selection

    Your topic must be formally approved by the department before you can enroll in the course.


    The topic you choose for your research must 1) apply to one of the Massachusetts EEC Core Competency Areas, AND 2) have a moderate amount of controversy among scholars (in other words, they don’t all agree).  See the list of sample topics we have provided.  They may help you generate some ideas.

    Getting Approval

    When you have selected a topic, submit the electronic Topic Approval Form.  You will need to identify the dates in which you would like to take the course (Note:  This must be a currently existing 6-week course cycle.)  You will also need to write a description or summary of your topic and provide the reasons you would like to research it. This must be at least a couple of paragraphs long.  Provide enough detail to convince the faculty member who will read it that your topic should be immediately approved.  The Topic Approval Form must be submitted no later than 4 weeks before your requested start date.

    You will receive a message in your ENC email notifying you if your topic was approved (and you were enrolled in the course) or if you need to make revisions before it can be approved.  If your topic is not approved, you must revise and resubmit the form until it is accepted.

    Your Research Advisor

    AGS will assign a Research Advisor to instruct and advise you as you research and write your project.  (Note:  This is not the same person as your Academic Advisor.  Your Research Advisor is a faculty member who will work with you one-on-one during this project, like a professor for a course.)

    Your Research Advisor will contact you via your ENC email to introduce him-/herself to you and to schedule your two conference sessions.  You must respond to the email within 3 days of the sent date and confirm the date, time, and location of the conferences.  If you do not respond in time, the course may be cancelled and you will have to reschedule it for some other 6-week course cycle.

    Another thing....

    Make a list of your interests. Don't worry about what your professor may like; go with your instincts. You don't want to spend weeks researching something that is of no interest to you.