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Arkansas State University

Leadership in Early Childhood Education (ECH 6783) Course Research Guide: Choosing an Issue

This guide is intended to aid students in ECH 6783 with their research needs. The guide focuses on resources relevant to the course advocacy project.

Books

Below are a few ebooks dealing with issues in early childhood education. These may help you identify a particular issue to research. Learn more about searching for books in our Library Catalog guide.

How can I decide on an issue for my advocacy project?

  1. What about Early Childhood Education Leadership interests you? Is there an issue that directly affects you, your students, or even your own children? It's often easier to become passionate about an issue or problem that relates to your own life. For instance, in my case I find school violence worrisome.
  2. Does the topic relate to other broader topics? School violence is related to the umbrella concept of school safety and other related topics such as student freedom, bullying, and many other similar topics. Remember that research about your topic may come from articles or other sources that don't appear immediately relevant or that lie outside of the discipline of education. For instance, literature from Psychology may be useful for my example topic of school violence. Remember, too, that you can apply broader, sometimes theoretical research to your specific problem. For instance, a theoretical or philosophical article about student privacy may apply to questions about searching students or their effects.
  3. It probably goes without saying that one easy way to discover issues that you might find interesting in education is simply to pay attention to the news. Recently in Arkansas there has been considerable coverage in the news about arming teachers with guns. There is almost always an abundance of educational issues in the news.
  4. Talk with other educators. What problems are they facing? What interests them? Discussion in class can also be a springboard for your research topic.
  5. Browse the US Department of Education or the appropriate state's Department of Education (Arkansas here). You can also go a little deeper and visit the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education or the Office of Early Learning.
  6. The websites for relevant professional organizations also can provide you with potential issues to choose from. A few possibilities include:

These are just a few possible organizations that, in addition to helping you choose a topic, can also serve as resources when you begin your actual research. Your professor has also linked to several resources on BlackBoard.

Once you've decided on a topic, it's time to start researching.