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Dissertation ideas ( SEND )

Discussion in 'Special educational needs' started by Rach_hill31, Dec 10, 2017.

  1. Rach_hill31

    Rach_hill31 New commenter

    Hi all!
    I am currently in my final year of university and working on my dissertation. I want to do my dissertation around SEND ( particularly ASD ). in mainstream school. I am finding it difficulty to focus in one particular areas and feel my questions are becoming too broad. Any ideas welcome! also if anyone has any interesting articles/resources I would be very grateful!
    Many thanks
  2. Dodros

    Dodros Star commenter

    I moved from MFL (French and German) to SEND teaching in mid-career at a mainstream secondary school, which is why I focused my assignments on MFL learners with SEND when I was studying in the latter stages of my part-time Advanced Diploma in Special Needs in Education with the Open University back in the 1990s. It's a matter of using your personal interests and strengths to narrow down the research for your dissertation. You might do as I did, opting to examine the implications of a particular National Curriculum core or foundation subject for students with SEND; there is a series of online booklets, each covering one NC subject and its implications for students with ASD, at http://webarchive.nationalarchives....eschool/sen/teacherlearningassistant/ASDKS34/. Or you might embark on an individual case study of a student with ASD, reviewing their educational history, identifying the strengths and weaknesses they bring to the classroom and assessing the effectiveness of the access arrangements provided to include them in everyday school life and to give them a level playing field in public examinations. There are plenty of possibilities and often the necessary reduction in scope is achieved by whatever interests you have, or by the coverage of the available professional literature or by your access to the students you may wish to observe. Some of the best educational research emerges after reading something that irritates you. Good luck!
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2017
  3. Jo3Grace

    Jo3Grace New commenter


    You might find you have the same problem here as you have with picking a topic, in that - as a regularly visitor to the forum I am aware it tends to be the more specific questions that get the most responses.

    I'll give you an answer or two. I'm not really saying you should do these, but they are specific focui and maybe if you're really drawn to one or really dislike one that will help you narrow down your topic.

    Firstly autism is a massive massive subject area, just thinking of you trying to do literature reviews you need something to narrow those down by otherwise you'll drown in them.

    So two things spring to mind

    Firstly Autism in females, this is much less studied and understood than male presentation of autism, so less search results and actually more chance you could actively contribute to the field. Why just write up what has been done before, why not nudge things a little further forward yourself. You could look at what sorts of interventions might help autistic teenage girls cope better with the school experience.


    Autism in people with profound and multiple learning disabilities, often times people who have physical disabilities as well as autism have these focused on through the early years of their life and it is only later that their autism begins to get attention. We all know that the earlier you intervene to support someone the better the outcomes long term. I was speaking to one parent recently who explained that initially they had not known their child had autism, but had known about their physical disabilities. When traits of autism began to show these were all assumed to be caused by the physical disabilities. This assumption continued until it was no longer sustainable. That child is now well catered for physically, good positioning, a good wheelchair etc compensate well for the limitation in physical abilities, but with regards to their autism this remains something they struggle with. The mother reflected sadly "In the end it will be his autism that is his disability not his mobility, and we just did not realise early enough."

    Best wishes with your studies. I would love to read what you produce at the end.

    Kind regards
    Joanna Grace
    The Sensory Projects
  4. Flanks

    Flanks Senior commenter

    As a rule you need to throw out ideas, wait for something to latch and then narrow down.

    Any ideas?

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