Main Menu Summer 2013

School Research Ideas

The following topics have been suggested by school district administrators and teachers as areas where more research may be helpful. Graduate students and faculty may find this listing helpful as they pursue their research interests.

Behavior | New Choices | Parental Involvement | Curriculum Issues | Scheduling of Students
Staff Development and Training | Federal Education Laws Issues & Compliance


  • Behavior and discipline systems for diverse groups.
  • Character education.
  • Impact of behavior on grades (and vice versa?).
  • Starting with younger children and tracking children's behavior over the years 
  • What are some of the psychological issues that may be going on with children that are impacting behavior and contributing to discipline problems?
  • Attendance and its relationship to behavior.
  • Bullying, intimidation, harassment, humiliation, during secondary school and the transition in high school.
  • Racial interactions and tensions related to education and behavior.
  • Emotional, behavioral or mental health issues that impact secondary students and their educational success.
  • Student engagement with school.

New Choices

  • Gifted Education and Accelerated Programs.
  • Alternative schools.
  • Transferable models of successful, small urban schools.
  • Summer bridge programs.
  • After school academic intervention and enrichment programs.
  • Overall student health including physical health and socio-emotional well-being.

Parental involvement and full service community schools

  • Addressing the full spectrum of issues preventing their child's school success e.g. homelessness.
  • Mapping current services that either are in the school system, community, or are linked to the system.
  • Working with the most 'at-risk' or 'vulnerable' populations particularly those with young children.
  • Family/ Parent impact on their child’s literacy.

Curriculum Issues

  • Vertical teaming K-12 alignment of curriculum or possibly P-16 beginning with math.
  • Early intervention - particularly with vulnerable populations.
  • Foreign language including dual language program and immersion programs. How would a dual-language program impact students who may not be proficient in either their maternal language or English.
  • Required reading programs in 6, 7, 8 - what are the alternatives? What is the documented value?
  • Well defined models of support for struggling adolescent readers.
  • Reading instruction for special education students
  • Evaluation of math programs at the elementary level and effectiveness of preparation for the next level.
  • Summer enrichment programs in mathematics.
  • Evaluation of instruction, curriculum, and programs.

Scheduling of students

  • Block scheduling at the middle school level.

Staff Development and Training

  • Teaming at the middle school level - productive use of time, team meetings, and planning time.
  • Effective methods for staff training.
  • Success of training modules.
  • Looking at 3-4 year benchmarks of productivity.
  • Staff training of excellent teaching methodology (lesson planning and lesson structure).
  • Training teachers to be good administrators, researchers etc.

Issues related to the compliance with federal education laws

  • Impact of a consent decree and how that has affected the district compared to other districts that have had a consent decree.
  • Analyzing available secondary data being gathered for No Child Left Behind.

Additions appearing in bold and italics have been made based on a recent needs assessment conducted by the Center for Education in Small Urban Communities.