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The third summative decision point (SDP III) for the M.S.Ed. Elementary and Secondary degree programs is the capstone “Teacher as Researcher” action research project. This clinical practice project demonstrates that candidates have the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to impact student learning. Candidates will learn how to design and conduct the study within the graduate research course (A590, E590, S590, or X590). Candidates generally take this course near the end of their master’s program. Instructors of the research course help students develop research topics and guide students through the research process. If a master’s degree candidate is also pursuing a concentration (such as reading, gifted and talented, computer education, ENL, special education, or a content area), then the Teacher as Researcher project should focus on a topic pertinent to the concentration.

This action research project is conducted most often in the building where the educator is employed. The Teacher as Researcher project culminates in a paper that includes a problem statement, review of research literature, research design, data analysis, reflection of the study and action plan, and references. An SDP III rubric provides guidelines for the paper. The project also reflects the School of Education’s professional dispositions. This action research study may be presented at the IU Southeast Research Conference.

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