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Capstone Pathways

Course Description

As a Masters student in Learning and Teaching, candidates have the option of three culminating final projects: studies employing action research, studies employing other methodologies, or the curriculum research project. Each of the options are rigorous undertakings; however, they have different goals. Below, we provide guidelines for helping candidates decide whether or not you will be conducting studies employing action research, studies employing other methodologies or the curriculum research project. Remember, these are simply guidelines. To make a final decision on which pathway you will take, please consult with your research course instructors or your content experts.

Studies Employing Action Research as a Methodology

The action research study is designed to help you study and improve your practice as a future educator and to help you find effective ways to meet the needs of your students. In Action Research, the practitioner and the researcher are one and the same. In order to conduct Action Research, you need to have direct access to a classroom or other educational setting where you are in direct contact with students. You should choose the Action Research option if:

● Your research question centers around improving your students’ learning and your instructional practice.
● You are studying to become a teacher, other type of school educator, and/or you are planning on going into educational research or pursuing a PhD. in the near future.
● You will work directly with students.

Studies Employing Other Methodologies

The study you will conduct in your capstone course will be a piece of original research. While they take on many forms, this process is intended to test theory and to understand phenomena. Those who choose to prepare a research study are not required to have direct access to students or educational settings; however, the study does need to address authentic questions about teaching, learning, and education. You should choose this option if:

● Your research question seeks to understand phenomenon/practice/experience through qualitative and/or quantitative methodologies.
● You are studying to become a teacher, other type of school educator, and/or you are planning on going into educational research or pursuing a PhD. in the near future.
● You will not have access to a classroom or other educational setting where you will be in direct contact with students.

Curriculum Research Project

The Curriculum Research Project can be selected if the candidate is interested in designing a curriculum around a particular, contextually grounded need in the field. It is preferable for the candidate to have some access to a classroom where one or more of the curriculum lesson/unit can be delivered, thereby allowing the curriculum to be informed by practice. You should choose the Curriculum Research Project option if:

● You are studying to become a teacher, teacher trainer, teacher leader, administrator, or curriculum writer.
● You are interested in writing educational materials and curriculum.

Units

3 units