Educational theories pertain to the goal, application, and interpretation of educational practices and methods of learning. Educational theorists have conducted research into various teaching methods to improve success.
Here are some research paper topics for training teachers in education theory, using the “bare wall” theory in kindergarten classrooms, and encouraging nurse educators to use evidence-based teaching.
Train teachers in education theory
For your research paper, you could write about the possibility of teachers learning education theory to improve their teaching and their image. Teachers may have a bad image, but, according to professors Janet Orchard and Christopher Winch, it might be because of the way they are trained. They may not be learning enough about education theory to be successful. In “Can you teach well without a sound knowledge of educational theory? The answer is no,” posted on Tes.com November 27, 2015, Orchard and Winch explained: “We are concerned that teachers also need to know and understand educational theory if they are to teach well, and this aspect of their professional knowledge is insufficiently developed at present. Teachers need to be able to plan successful lessons independently, and distinguish clear and legitimate aims from unclear and questionable ones.”
Kindergarten education theory
A topic for a research paper could be to discuss the concept of helping kindergarteners learn better by reducing the number of decorations in the classroom. Typically a kindergarten would be filled with colorful, happy decorations of animals and flowers, as well as academic posters and displays, such as the alphabet and penmanship.
A study by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University published in the May 2014 issue of Psychological Science found that very young children get distracted by classroom decorations and a cluttered visual environment. These distractions negatively impact learning. Gillian McNamee, director of teacher education at the Erikson Institute in Chicago, commented in “The Bare Walls Theory: Do Too Many Classroom Decorations Harm Learning?” by Margaret Ramirez, on NBCNews.com, October 13, 2014: “When I walk into a classroom, often they are almost wallpapered with materials from head to toe. And for an adult, let alone a child, it can make you dizzy and lose focus.” The study brought to light the need for teachers to play a bigger role in classroom design.
Evidence-based teaching for nurses
A good research paper topic for education theory is the push by the National League for Nursing for the use of evidence-based teaching practice (EBTP) in nursing education, throughout curriculum design, evaluation, and program development at all degree levels of nursing programs. Kathleen A. Kalb, et al., conducted a study that analyzed the use of evidence-based teaching by nursing faculty. They asked what the faculty perspectives of using EBTP in nursing education were, how does faculty use evidence to inform their teaching, and what factors influence faculty’s use of EBTP.
After a survey of nurse administrators in accredited nursing programs in the United States, results showed that administrators were positive about EBTP, that it’s important for faculty to use EBTP in nursing education, and that EBTP contributes to advancing science; however, they were not confident they could easily enact changes in nursing education. Researchers found that “Overall, respondents stressed the importance of creating a culture that ensures quality evidence is accessible and used effectively by faculty. Respondents recognized the need to educate nurses who are prepared to engage in inter-professional, evidence-based clinical practice that ultimately improves patient outcomes and promotes the quality of health care,” reported in “Evidence-Based Teaching Practice in Nursing Education: Faculty Perspectives and Practices,” by Kathleen A. Kalb et al., published in Nursing Education Perspectives, July 1, 2015.
For more information, check out Questia’s library on Education Theory.
What are some trends in education theory that would make a good research paper topic?