The Dreaded Dissertation Proposal: Passion Meets Excitement

Time has come for the much anticipated and feared dissertation proposal.

Dum. Dum. Dum.

Well, when I say the time has come, I mean to say the time has come and gone. Proposal handed in with good feedback I was ready to continue my reading over the summer months.

The impact of social media on the engagement of higher education students.

With a background in social media content writing as well as being a student, I felt this topic would not only interest but would also be relevant.

Yet weeks into searching through journals, news stories and much more; I hit my wall. The inevitable boredom that is linked with a topic that you are unfortunately not interested in anymore. A topic that does not ignite the creative or the passion is one that I quickly jumped into realising was not worthy of my dissertation.

So the search continued.

Writing a list of all the areas of education that interested me I came away with an inordinate amount of questions, theories, possibilities and above all; panic.

I had to focus.

So, I looked to my personal life and what interested me when I was reading. Something that if I was reading for fun around education it would be what I would enjoy and read without necessity. I considered my hobbies and focused on the Woman’s Institute and how their values and ethics could be brought into PSHE lessons (a topic that is highly publicised currently thanks to Nicky Morgan). However the information was subsequently difficult to research as well as sparse on the ground for literature. Considering this was not my PhD, I decided to find something with a bit more meat available.

In popped a friend. The best ideas always seem to be the most obvious, yet the most elusive until someone points it out to you. Writing and literature. English, creative writing and language have always interested me. My love for the written word has been the longest relationship I have managed to upkeep and this has been documented through writing competitions, my GCSEs and A Levels, blogging, writing for magazines and much more. My experience from working in Waterstones opened my eyes to different genres and reading abilities. And my language modules were one of the most interesting in my Education degree. So, why not look into language and writing for early years?

My best marks from second year were to do with gender stereotyping and how society has a lot to answer for in terms of socialisation and the effect on children. Pinpointing on my interest I am considering how to incorporate gender stereotyping in children’s literature, primarily focusing on schools and parents perceptions. I also want to look into creative writing therapy, however I am aware that this may be too broad.

It is in keeping with the new national curriculum as well as the wellbeing that is currently being focused on. Although we are seemingly more interested in coding and technology, the fact that children are leaving school unable to read or write is disgraceful. Nick Clegg may state that a hot meal is more important than maths and literacy, and I can understand his values. I do however believe that children shouldn’t have to choose between these three things. We need to give our children everything, as we expect everything from them.

My dissertation has a topic and a direction. Alas, no title though, but, it is a start to an end, one that I know my passion and excitement will not fade.

Good luck dissertation tutor, whoever you may be. I’m ready for you!


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