Education Dissertation Proposal

Example research proposals are listed by category below.

History of Education


Karen Marais, 2005, EdD

From finishing school to feminist academy: the impact of changing social constructions of gender on education in a private girls' school in Western Australia, 1945 - 1997.



Ian Melville, 2006, PhD

An historical analysis of the structures established for the provision of Anglican education in the Diocese of Perth, Western Australia between 1917 and 1992.


Qualitative Longitudinal Study


Karen Anderson, 2005, EdD

The novice experience: Western Australian primary deputy principals' first year in school leadership and management.


Stefania Giamminuti, 2005, PhD

Documentation as a tool for co-constructing situated communities of learners: a case study of early years, educational environments in Reggio Emilia and Western Australia.


Jasmine McDonald, 2005, PhD

How parents deal with the education of their child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder: a constructivist grounded theory study.


Shardlow Mignon, 2005, PhD

Teaching the watchdogs of democracy: The professional formation of journalists through Australian university study and early employment.



Point Qualitative Study

Debra Shilkin, 2005, EdD

Why we suspend: teachers' and administrators' perspectives on student suspensions.


Multiple-question Qualitative Study

Theresa Martin, 2006, EdD

Qualifications in education for TAFE lecturers in Western Australia: background, functions and concerns.


Quantitative Study

Jolee Boakes, 2005, PhD

Development and validation of the test battery to evaluate employability skills.


Charles Chew, 2005, EdD

Effects of biology-infused demonstrations on achievement and attitudes in junior college Physics.


Richard Hewison, 2005, EdD

Predictors of tertiary level performance in non-English speaking background students.


David Kwok, 2005, EdD

Profiles of high-performing call centre agents.


Joseph Njiru, 2005, PhD

Self-regulated learning in working with information and communication technology (ICT).


Delphine Shaw, 2005, EdD

Thinking patterns, pupil engagement, and understanding in early childhood.


The following are examples of quality dissertation proposals (i.e., the first three chapters of the dissertation) for the Doctor of Philosophy in educational leadership in the Department of Educational Leadership, Research and Technology at Western Michigan University. These proposals were approved by each doctoral candidate’s full dissertation committee prior to the student submitting application materials to WMU’s Human Subject Institutional Review Board. In addition, there are links to the approved Human Institutional Review Board applications and proposals and their final dissertation.

Please note that the dissertation proposals are written in the future tense and may contain some things that were ultimately developed or changed for the final dissertation. Also, be aware that prior to submitting your Human Subjects Institutional Review Board application, students must pass a number of online training modules.

In order to apply for Human Subjects Institutional Review Board approval, you must submit a hard copy of the required HSRIB application (it is the “application for initial review” located about half-way down the page), along with a separate document that summarizes how you plan to address each requested area on Page 3 of that form within the “VIII. Protocol Outline” section. In addition, attach the appendices of that document, all consent forms (with required elements noted on Page 4 of the form under “IX. Consent Document Development Checklist”), as well as recruitment letters, interview outlines and or the survey to be used. Julia Mays, in the Human Subjects Institutional Review Board office, is happy to address questions you might have about the process, and can be reached at (269) 387-8293. Completed applications and protocols can be sent electronically to ovpr-hsirb@wmich.edu.

Completed examples:

Barbara Johnson, Ph.D.

December 2007
Leadership-Influenced Practices that Impact Classroom Instruction Related to Writing: A Case Study of a Successful Elementary School
(K-12 Qualitative, Case Study Approach)

  1. Approved proposal (March 2007)
  2. IRB application form
  3. IRB proposal
  4. Final dissertation

Rebecca Brinks, Ph.D.

December 2007
Intensive Professional Development Literacy Instruction for Preschool Teachers
(Higher Education/Early Childhood; Mixed Methods using a Secondary Data Set)

  1. Approved proposal (June 2007)
  2. HSRIB exempt letter
  3. Final dissertation

Ann Rea Kopy, Ed.D.

December 2006
A Case Study of the Efficacy of a University Cohort Group in a Small Urban School District
(K-12 Qualitative, Case Study Approach)

  1. Approved proposal (November 2005)
  2. IRB proposal
  3. Final Dissertation—Part 1, Part 2

Our thanks to the doctoral students who agreed to have their proposals and other dissertation materials posted to this website as examples.

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