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AIBU.. To beg for dissertation help!

(30 Posts)
StudentMum92 Sun 19-Mar-17 16:24:29

Hi everyone!

I'm currently in my second year of a degree in 'education and childhood studies'. I have to submit my proposal for my research article soon ready for my third year and I have no idea what to do!
It can be anything education or child related. I have an interest in home or maybe gender stereotypes.

What could I do specifically? Please help and give me some direction.

I'm really struggling sad It's keeping me awake at night!

StudentMum92 Sun 19-Mar-17 16:24:50


ExtraMushroomsPlease Sun 19-Mar-17 16:36:19

I feel your pain I'm doing a similar MA, my dissertation will be on parental participation and the home/school link in primary KS2. Like you, I couldn't think of anything! I would work out what interests you most re. Gender and home and try narrow it down from there. It's such a big piece of work you need an interest in your chosen subject.

ExtraMushroomsPlease Sun 19-Mar-17 16:37:11

Sorry just seen you mean homework

MissClimpsonsTypingBureau Sun 19-Mar-17 16:47:38

I don't know anything about early childhood studies, but homework and gender both sound like interesting areas. The key thing is that you think they're interesting - otherwise a dissertation becomes really hard work!

Could you work with local schools with different approaches to homework and carry out a study of how this affects teaching/ learning in a specific subject area across, say, a term?

The best people to help you are your tutors though. Could you talk to your tutor or one of the course leaders to get some guidance? (What I'd do, and did when i was thinking about my 3Rd year dissertation in a different subject, is identify the person who would be supervising your dissertation if you went for homework as a general topic and send them an email saying "I'd like to write my dissertation on homework. I've got a few general ideas - could I talk them through with you?")

Or could you talk to some current 3rd years? Sometimes looking at other people's titles/ subject areas can be useful. It might make the task seem more manageable.

Don't lose sleep over this! Figuring out a dissertation topic is hard but you'll get there smile

Knifegrinder Sun 19-Mar-17 16:51:55

Talk to your tutor/s - you shouldn't be trying to make this decision in a vacuum. What modules have covered topics that have interested you and/or in which you've done well? Do your tutors have research specialisms that interest you? Or see if you are able to access the titles/texts of previous students' dissertations via your department or library -- I'm in a different field, but we used to keep a running list of previous years' dissertation topics as inspiration.

streetface Sun 19-Mar-17 17:02:54

I have studied how teenagers construct and mediate their identities through social media for both my last year of uni and for my MA dissertation. The topic had feedback from tutors that it was interesting to read. As social media is a fairly new phenomenon, the literature is nice and fresh and social interactions are recorded in real time. I got very good marks for both if that helps.

streetface Sun 19-Mar-17 17:04:18

I should have added, undergrad was social sciences and MA in childhood and youth which covered education and social policy.

Jessesbitch Sun 19-Mar-17 17:06:36

Gender stereotypes in text books or reading books.
Some are shocking...

fruitbrewhaha Sun 19-Mar-17 17:07:26

What about homeschooling?
Would be easy to access as homeschoolers network via facebook etc
Ask why? Are their locals schools crap? Did they have a bad experience of school?
What skills are necessary? available tools ?
Do they pool resources with other HSers?
Will the DCs go to secondary school? What problems might they encounter?
You could look out statistics of outcomes for HS DCs results. Maybe speak to adult who were homeschooled.
Any trends geographically, ie more in affluent areas?

PrimeMinistersQuestionables Sun 19-Mar-17 17:54:36

You could look at the either

a) relationships between socioeconomic status and homework completion in British schools

B) the differences in homework participation by the genders

C) does homework actually increase the educational attainment in students (could juxtapose Finland/Norway/Sweden, Japan and the uk

D) homework in state and private schools

E) does the education system put children into gender roles

F) girls and STEM Subjects vs Boys and the arts

G) gendered schools, something to leave behind or something to aspire for in the future

H) gendered school uniforms and the impacts they have trans and non binary pupils

I) "that skirt is too short" a study into entrenched sexism in schools, how we teach girls not be assaulted instead of teaching boys not to offend.

Hope it helps

StudentMum92 Sun 19-Mar-17 18:05:12

Thanks everyone! I've spoken to 3 tutors but they don't give you any ideas just tell me to read 🙄 We don't get assigned a personal tutor until we've hoses our topic and we go to the tutor who's expertise lie in that topic.

I'm interested in children's perceptions of gender roles after seeing an experiment where a group of children were asked to draw a surgeon, a firefighter and a raf pilot and the majority drew them as men, then the class were introduced to real life women who do them jobs

ghostyslovesheets Sun 19-Mar-17 18:21:41

you could look at how much careers advice is challenging gender stereotypes - especially in the face of changes to out sourced independent careers advice in England - OR how much influence positive anti stereotyping information etc over and attitudes at home to careers for men and women

I'd start from the point of nothing much changing in the past 15 years and why

ghostyslovesheets Sun 19-Mar-17 18:22:12

sorry laptop went a bit mad and edited my post! hope it makes sense

geordiedench Sun 19-Mar-17 18:24:10

Why don't you just monitor yourself for a week or so. Check what articles you're drawn to in the papers, what news stopries really catch your attention, what issues linked to education and chilcare really make you angry or eloquent. Something based on the stuff that really grabs you will be the best bet.

DoctorDoctor Sun 19-Mar-17 18:27:38

I would state then that your topic is children's perceptions of gender roles and how those are reinforced or challenged in schools, and then ask to book an appointment with the most suitable tutor. That's what you've said interests you here and you have an example to quote as a starting point. I would also try to narrow it down further by, for instance, looking just at reception and year 1 or at a couple of other years. Are you allowed to do studies working with actual people (eg interviewing teachers) or does it have to be literature based? It can be very difficult ethically to get permission to do studies involving children.

StorminaBcup Sun 19-Mar-17 18:29:05

Find some recent research articles on the topics that you are interested, have a read of them and see what further research is highlighted in the discussion section at the end. It should help you narrow your topics to a specific area and establish what research has already been done so you don't repeat anything.

I'm not sure if this field has something similar to a Cochrane review but if you can find out it will mean you won't have sift through dozens of research papers.

Good luck

NewYearNewLife53 Sun 19-Mar-17 18:45:19

I think, tbh, perception of gender roles, is okay - ish but a bit old hat. PrimeMinister had some great topics! (PS. I've been a dissertation tutor over over 25 years)

StudentMum92 Sun 19-Mar-17 19:14:09

Thanks again for the suggestions! My journal article needs to include primary research as well as a lit review which is why we're thinking about it now. Our 3rd year work placements will be linked to our topic to help with the article!

whippetwoman Sun 19-Mar-17 19:24:47

Ok, I am a university librarian and see lots of dissertation students. If you're not sure what you want to do go into some of the databases in the elibrary of your University and search on your topic ideas e.g. Gender stereotypes AND education. Have a look at some of the articles you find and read the abstracts, which are the short explanations of the articles. You might get some idea and also see if there is literature available to base your literature review on. Articles in databases often have keywords that describe them, so have a look at the keywords for more ideas. I don't know where you're studying but most universities will have databases such as Academic Search Complete, which would cover education, so try there if it's available and make an appointment with your Subject Librarian (might be called Liaison Librarian, who can take you through literature searching.
You could start with Google Scholar if you're not sure, but it's best to use the databases available in your library as they will contain academic peer reviewed journals which will be at the right academic level for your studies. PM me if you'd like more help.
Good luck.

Evangelinda Sun 19-Mar-17 19:27:21

You might also want to consider which tutors in the areas you've already identified you feel you could work well with and then what areas of interest they have. It would be awful to choose a really interesting topic but then get stuck working with someone who was not helpful to you.

PerpetualStudent Sun 19-Mar-17 19:32:47

If your tutors have told you to read - read! In your lit review you'll need to show how the current research points to a gap or problem in the field, which your research aims to address. So it will be much easier to do that if the topic has actually come from your reading of the lit, rather than being plucked out of the air.

lovemyboo Sun 19-Mar-17 19:42:28

Could you look at the portrayal of the genders in cartoons?

My two DS's were watching Batman and the way the females are portrayed were so sexualised- I was so uncomfortable with this being normal for my two boys. I'm trying hard to teach them that men and women/ girls and boys are equal.

The impact of animation's portrayal of the genders on children and how do parents manage this. ( ??)

holeinmyheart Sun 19-Mar-17 20:44:51

You could look at Post Traumatic Stress disorder in children who have been flooded and the effect it has on their learning and mental health. You don't have to look far as the whole of the North of England practically was flooded in December 2015. Lots of children suffered and so did their schooling. Many schools were flooded and closed. Lots of research has been done on gender issues but not much done regarding flooding and its effect on children.
Professor Maggie Mort of the University of Lancaster has produced research papers and a film of earlier flooding but there were loads of schools closed in Cumbria, Lancashire and Yorkshire in 2015 due to flooding. St Micheals on Wyre School in Lancashire was closed I believe for 6 months.
The National Flood Forum might be an entry for you or google Flood groups, there are hundreds of them.
Flooding is one of the main threats to the UK and has a disastrous effect on the infrastructure.

mygorgeousmilo Sun 19-Mar-17 21:05:37

I think the gender stereotypes thing is interesting. What was also interesting at my kids' school was that recently they asked for volunteers to come in and talk to the children about their jobs. I looked through the pictures last week, ALL women. All professionals, mostly married to professionals - but it seems it was the woman's role to offer themselves up to volunteer for school initiatives. I thought that was interesting. In a few scenarios, I knew both parents were of the same profession, and yet the wife came. It reminds me of the argument that lots of my friends have when both they and their partner work full time, yet the kid stuff and domestic stuff falls to the woman, time and time again.... I digress!

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