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Scientific Thesis Proposal: Learner and Program Information (Thesis Proposal Sample)


writing a research thesis proposal


A. Learner and Program Information
(to be completed by Researcher)

Researcher Name

Adonis Blue

Researcher Email

Researcher ID Number


Mentor Name

Dr. Barry Persky

Mentor Email


Leadership in Education Administration (P-12)

Spec Chair Email

Dr. Melissa McIntyre

Committee Member

Dr. Dennis Flood


Committee Member

Dr. Forrest Ray


Section 1. Research Problem, Significance, Question(s), Title: Qualitative

1 Proposed Dissertation Title
(Usually a statement based on the research question--short and to the point.)

The proposing dissertation topic is, "Successful teaching strategies for working with African American high school urban males.”

1.2 Research Topic
Describe the specific topic to be studied in a paragraph. (Be certain that the research question relates to the topic.)

The purposeof this study is to identify successful teaching strategies for African-American urban high school males. An effort will be made to establish the relationship between diversified teaching methods and student motivation. In addition, the purpose of this study is to develop a greater understanding of the cultural, social, psychological framework and needs of the African-American urban high school male so that specific teaching strategies can address their needs. Furthermore, this study will rely on extensive literature reviews and data analysis. The data analysis collected both from primary and secondary sources will establish the extent and nature of the common issues.

1.3 Research Problem
Write a brief statement that fully describes the problem being addressed. Present this in one sentence or no more than one clear concise paragraph.

To date, there is not a sufficient amount of research that supports the link between successful verses non-successful teaching strategies for African-American urban high school males
Conversely, this study will identify general and specific teaching techniques that teachers can incorporate for better involvement and greater relationship building strategies with their students. Thus, teachers can benefit tremendously from this study as it will help them in knowing and implementing ways of teaching that can improve learning and motivation among African American high school urban males.

1.4 Research Purpose
Write a brief statement that fully describes the intent of the study or the reason for conducting the study. Present this in one sentence or no more than one clear concise paragraph.

The purpose of this study is to identify successful teaching strategies for teachers working with African American high school urban males. This study will also enable the reader to enhance their knowledge and understanding of the importance and application of differential teaching strategies. The study will also give a precise depiction of the available literature from various domains on the subject. Moreover, it will also serve as one single study integrating important diversified teaching methods from the most common disciplinary challenges faced by teachers in the classroom. The study will also help in broadening knowledge of the cultural, social and psychological framework of the African-American high school male student.

1.5 Research Question(s)
(What do you really want to know? The rest of this form derives from and should constantly be guided by your research question. Always consider your research question in addressing all following components of this design form.)

Based on the preliminary literature review, it is hypothesized that diversified and appropriated teaching strategies will improve the participation and performance among African-American high school males. The research question is as follows:
R1) What successful strategies were used in teaching African American male high school students?
R2) What processes, strategies and practices do teachers find most effective in promoting significant learning gains with African American male high school students?
R3) What are the major distractions faced in school by African American male high school students?

1.6 Literature Review Section
Provide a brief overview of the conceptual framework upon which your study is based. Identify the seminal research and theories that inform your study. Discuss the topics and themes that you will use to organize your literature review. Attach the most current list of references with the Research Plan.

In order to develop a greater understanding of the cultural, social and psychological factors contributing to learning limitations in African-American high school urban males, a wide range of sources will be studied, interpreted and evaluated. Some of the sources will be on psychological, social and cultural issues, which affect African American students in the process of learning. "African American students, as a whole, have many more barriers to overcome at home than other students in order to be successful, (Wood, 37 p. 22)." According to Pallas (1989), most of the African American students have more responsibilities and less sleep as recommended. This explains why the African American students perform below their peers on average. Many African American students suffer psychological problems since they are likely to be in perception that discrimination will hinder their progress (Ford, 1999).
In the research study of 10 African-American undergraduate males studying in a white southern institution, the researcher found out that the students struggled with persistence throughout their education life. More than two-thirds of the African-American college men do not finish their education on time and they tend to take longer than six years (Mock, p.24). Upon finding out the possible causes, the research found out that the foundation of the collegiate success in their academic is affected by their upbringing experiences. Mentoring these students was highly recommended as from development point of view, it enhanced active learning where the African- American students participate actively and confidently. Mentors should use developed so as to play the roles of the teacher, gatekeeper, guide and consultant. Mock (2001), found that the community has a major role to play in enhancing African-American education by helping them to develop positive attitudes and set academic goals.
The researcher will take references from different sources including books, articles, journal articles, curriculum guides and press releases. They will be collected from college and online libraries. Opinions and previous studies conducted by various experts in the field will be studied in detail, compared and will be critiqued with others to arrive at appropriate recommendations.

1.7 Need for the Study
Describe the need for the study. Provide a rationale or need for studying a particular issue or phenomenon. Describe how the study is relevant to your specialization area.

This study is significant to my specialization, considering the existing and continuously growing number of African-American students in US high schools. (Bak, 1993, p.3) has examined that the performance of African-American high school males in diversified schools is significantly lower than their American classmates. This study will also be helpful for teachers to understanding their student’s learning requirements. The studied and devised teaching strategies will broaden their teaching skills. This study becomes all the more important for urban high schools as most African-American boys are enrolled in city schools. Most schools in the United States establish their mission statement in three priorities: "to stimulate the desire of the students, to provide instruction for sound scholarly achievement, and to provide an atmosphere conducive for the development of interpersonal expertise required for societal entrance" (Neely and Wheeler, n.d, p.12). However, these priorities remain unaccomplished for African-American urban high school males in many ways. A major factor for the learning differences between African-American males and other white students is limited intellectual exposure at a young age. The motivation to study is found absent in African-American male students. Adam Neely has explained that "Urban African American students, because of cultural and societal reasons, tend to personalize relationships, which makes the attitude of the teacher instrumental in ensuring affirmative participation" (Neely, n.d, p.24).

1.8 Methodology
Describe the qualitative methodology and research model you propose to use; e.g., Merriam for a basic qualitative study, Yin for a case study, or Moustakas for a phenomenological study.
Briefly identify the method(s) will you use to collect the data, such as: semi-structured interviews, open-ended conversational interviews, journaling, letters, pictures, observations, field notes, focus groups.

Kathleen DeMarris and Stephen D. Lapan, in their study of Foundations for research: Methods of Inquiry in education and the social science have explained that "No research methodology can provide a perfect balance for telling and representing" (Bailey, 2004, p.138). As justification for the proposed research methodology, genuine and authentic research has to use a combination of methods and methodologies. Research method and research methodology are two different components of a research. While research method points out to the techniques that are used while to conduct research, research methodology involves processes and procedures taken to arrive...
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