Examples of thesis topics in special education

Updated February 21, 2017

Writing a thesis on any topic can be a difficult task. Much of the difficulty revolves around choosing a thesis topic. Thesis topics should be broad enough that there is wide scholarly coverage of the topic, but narrow enough that the topic itself can be covered both adequately and more briefly than topics often covered in a doctoral dissertation.

Criticising Other Scholarship as a Topic

One of the best ways to choose a thesis topic is to read a wide range of topics in the field. You will soon discover that there are scholars who agree and disagree with one another on a number of different topics. Scholars who agree with each other are generally lumped together in different "schools of thought" on a particular topic. Find a topic that you feel strongly about and become very familiar with the literature in that field. Then find the scholars you agree with the most. Pick one scholar or one school of thought whose conclusions and methodology you may disagree with and refute their work. An example of this type of thesis would be to read the primary scholarship dealing with teaching kids with autism or similar disorders. Find a scholar whose approach to the issue of autism is questionable in your eyes and build a case for one of the other schools of thought as superior for reasons based on faulty logic, poor methodology or even poor source material. Look for flaws in the work of that scholar that appear to be obvious and can be easily refuted.

Choosing One Aspect of Special Education as a Topic

One way to choose a thesis topic in special education is to find one aspect of the discipline and use that as the basis for your thesis. For example, there are a number of different disorders that educators must deal with on a daily basis. Some of these include autism, learning disabilities, mental retardation and emotional and behavioural disorders. By focusing on one of these aspects of special education, you can narrow your topic down to examining one particular approach in handling the disorder itself. You can also combine themes in special education research such as how to properly evaluate gains made in teaching children with mental retardation.

Providing New Approaches to Old Questions

Reading the scholarly literature in any given field will oftentimes result in the discovery of some area of scholarship that has not been fully developed or that has obvious flaws in it. Similar to writing a critical evaluation of another scholar's work, providing new approaches to old questions in the scholarship in the field can yield a number of fascinating thesis topics. This still requires that you find an approach that you disagree with, but it also requires you to take the next logical step by trying to find an answer to that flaw or problem in scholarship. For instance, scholars who have overlooked significant statistical data regarding how to properly evaluate educational outcomes in teaching students with emotional disorders can be easy prey for critical analysis. Rather than ignore that statistical data, you should use it as the basis for your own approach to evaluating education of students with these types of disorders. The number of topics available to you when using this type of approach is really only limited by your own ability to find areas of improvement in the field of special education.

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About the Author

Jared Lewis is a professor of history, philosophy and the humanities. He has taught various courses in these fields since 2001. A former licensed financial adviser, he now works as a writer and has published numerous articles on education and business. He holds a bachelor's degree in history, a master's degree in theology and has completed doctoral work in American history.