Research Proposal on civic engagement

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Diana Ryan

ED 300

Jack Dougherty

Research Question: How have high school requirements for civic engagement changed and affected students’ long-term civic engagement?

Relevance:Today, more and more high schools are requiring their students to participate in community service. While it is obvious to me why one should be involved in their community, to others it might seem like a burden or chore. Given the different takes on civic engagement, it is important to know how it actually affects students, not just in their future participation, but in the rest of their daily lives. Many times I have seen students fight the requirement, dissatisfied with the administration’s reasoning for the coerced sense of volunteering, I would like my research to demonstrate the benefits and any cons that I may discover. Ultimately, I would like to know how civic engagement, whether voluntary or involuntary, shapes high school students into citizens.

Finding Resources: First I searched through Google Scholar to find some articles, but I found more on civics courses or service learning, but I found one article, the first listed in my bibliography. From there, I looked through that article’s bibliography and found some potentially useful readings. I also looked through the Education Week newspaper I picked up in class last week and found an article entitled, “Restoring Civic Purpose in Schools,” which I could also potentially use. I also used JSTOR, ERIC (which is where I found my first article), and searched through the Education Week website. I also used the education section of the NY Times and the Hartford Courant. Some of the search terms I utilized to find the resources I have thus far are the following “civic engagement high school”, “community service required high school”, “community service high school”, and “civic service.” I plan to make an appointment with a librarian to help me narrow my search and find more information on this recent high school movement to be civically engaged.


Dávila, Alberto, and Marie T. Mora. “Civic Engagement and High School Academic Progress: An Analysis Using NELS Data, [Part I of An Assessment of Civic Engagement and Academic Progress.” In University of Maryland, 2007.

Metz, Edward C., and James Youniss. “Longitudinal Gains in Civic Development Through School-Based Required Service.” Political Psychology 26, no. 3 (June 1, 2005): 413–437.

Serow, Robert C. “Students and Voluntarism: Looking into the Motives of Community Service Participants.” American Educational Research Journal 28, no. 3 (October 1, 1991): 543–556.

Shipps, Dorothy. “Pulling Together: Civic Capacity and Urban School Reform.” American Educational Research Journal 40, no. 4 (December 1, 2003): 841–878.

White, James E. Davis, H. Michael Hartoonian, Richard D. Van Scotter, & William E. “Restoring Civic Purpose in Schools.” Education Week, March 7, 2012.

“Community Service In High School – New York Times”, n.d.

“High School To Require Community Service.” Hartford Courant, n.d.

“Flunking Community Service Threatens High School Diploma.” Hartford Courant, n.d.

Research Proposal – Moody

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Ed 300 Research Proposal
Research Question: How have U.S public schools changed their approach to educating children with disabilities since the Education for All Handicapped Children Act was enacted in 1975? How and why have the goals of special education changed over time?

Significance: Before 1975, the vast majority of students with disabilities received no formal education. However, the Education for all Handicapped Children Act of 1975 required all public schools accepting federal funds to provide disabled children with equal access to education. Since that time, the goals of educational programs for disabled students have evolved. Schools are now moving away from special education towards a policy of integration. There have been changes in teacher qualifications and training, stated objectives, and the overall approach to educating students with disabilities. This topic is relevant to ED 300 because it focuses on a major challenge that public schools in America face. The number of students diagnosed with some type of disability is growing at a rapid rate. When discussing proposals for education reform, it is often forgotten that these students do exist at public schools and must be taken into account in any reform strategy. I also have a personal interest in this topic as I have worked with teens with disabilities for several years. I am interested in learner what their experiences are like in the public school system and how that experience is different than it would have been at different points during the last three and a half decades.
Research Strategy: I searched google scholar for changes in special education policy and found a few promising results. However, these resources were not quite sufficient for a research paper. I then searched Education week’s database in search of articles from different time periods. I ran multiple searches of the database with each one focusing on a different five year period in order to uncover how the thinking about children with disabilities has changed over time (only goes back to 1981). I also used the TOR library resources and searched for relevant books in the Library catalog. A search for old newspaper articles was surprisingly not very successful. I plan on trying to find official curricula for disabled students from different eras but I am not sure where I can find this.

Biklen, Douglas. “After 10 Years of Mainstreaming: The Disabled Are Making Impressive Gains.” Education
Week, April 27, 1983.

Council for Exceptional Children. Teacher Education and Special Education. Reston, Va: Teacher Education Division of the Council for Exceptional Children, 1977.

DuBois, Stephen. “13 Percent of Oregon Student Population – Nearly 85,000 – in Special Education Programs | The Republic.” The Republic, n.d.–Special-Education/.

Flanagan, Nancy. “Moving Special Education to the Virtual World.” Education Week – Teacher in a Strange Land, n.d.

Foster, Susan G. “‘Mainstreaming’ Still A Problem in Special Education.” Education Week, March 2, 1983.

Hyman, Irwin A., and Richard Roeder. “The Dumbing of Special Education.” Education Week, May 26, 1993.

Reese, Phillip, and Melody Gutierrez. “Budget Cuts, Change in Approach Place More Special Education Students in Regular Schools – The Sacramento Bee.” The Sacramento Bee, n.d.
Richardson, John G., and Tara L. Parker. “The Institutional Genesis of Special Education: The American Case.” American Journal of Education 101, no. 4 (1993): 359–392.

SCHEMO, Diana. “House Backs Vast Changes In Education For Disabled – New York Times”, n.d.

Schnaiberg, Lynn. “E.D. Report Documents ‘Full Inclusion’ Trend.” Education Week, October 19, 1994.

Shah, Nirvi. “S.C.’s Penalty for Cutting Special Ed. Spending Delayed.” Education Week – On Special Education, n.d.

Shah, Nirvi. “New Research Projects Explore Ways to Improve Special Education.” Education Week – On Special Education, n.d.

Singer, Judith, and John Butler. “The Education for All Handicapped Children Act: Schools as Agents of Social Reform.” Harvard Educational Review 57, no. 2 (July 1, 1987): 125–153.
———. “The Education for All Handicapped Children Act: Schools as Agents of Social Reform.” Harvard Educational Review 57, no. 2 (July 1, 1987): 125–153.

Skiba, Russell, Ada Simmons, Shana Ritter, Ashley Gibb, M. Rausch, Jason Cuadrado, and Choong-Geun Chung. “Achieving Equity in Special Education: History, Status, and Current Challenges.” Exceptional Children 74, no. 3 (January 1, 2008): 264–288.

United States. Accountability and IDEA: What Happens When the Bus Doesn’t Come Anymore?: Hearing Before the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, United States Senate, One Hundred Seventh Congress, Second Session, Examining the Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Focusing on Accountability from the Federal Government, and a Collaboration Between Institutions of Higher Education, Local Schools, and School Faculties for Teacher Preparation Programs, June 6, 2002. S. Hrg 107-672. Washington: U.S. G.P.O. : For sale by the Supt. of Docs., U.S. G.P.O., [Congressional Sales Office], 2002.
———. Progress Toward a Free Appropriate Public Education; a Report to Congress on the Implementation of Public Law 94-142: The Education for All Handicapped Children Act. DHEW Publication (OE). Washington: U.S. Dept. of Health, Education, and Welfare, [Education Division], U.S. Office of Education, 1979.

United States, and United States. Annual Report to Congress on the Implementation of Public Law 94-142, the Education for All Handicapped Children Act. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Dept. of Education, U.S. Office of Special Education and Rehabilitatative Services, 1980.

Viadero, Debra. “Students With Disabilities Are Overlooked In Push To Measure Skills.” Education Week, March 4, 1992.

Yell, Mitchell L, David Rogers, and Elisabeth Lodge Rogers. “The Legal History of Special Education What a Long, Strange Trip It’s Been!” Remedial and Special Education 19, no. 4 (July 1, 1998): 219–228.

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Question: How has the establishment of charter schools changed over time?  How has the enrollment in charter schools changed over time because of these changes?

Significance: After watching the documentary “The Lottery” I was moved to see parents crying over their children not gaining admissions into charter schools.  There is clearly something very special about the charter schools in NYC that causes parents to show up to the lottery each year and gamble with their children’s futures.  I would like to research what makes these parents keep coming back and how charter schools have improved over the years to make them even better and more attractive to parents.  Parents deserve the right to send their children to a high quality school despite geographical placement, demographics, race or socio-economic background and income.  I want to learn what charter schools in NYC are doing that puts them in position where they are in such high demand to gain admission.  I think it’s worth researching the rise of charter schools in NYC, the conflicts they faced over time in establishing themselves and finally I’d like to look into how the desire from parents to enroll their children in Charter schools over regular public schools has changed overtime.  Many articles are also suggestion that the charter schools have been improving over the years and they have increased their technology and parent involvement in the schooling system.  Lastly my good friend works with Success Charter Academy, (the largest charter school network in NYC) and has invited me to come watch the lottery and to spend a day in one of her schools and talk to a facility member.


Primary Sources:
I will be going to interview with a member of the Success Charter Academy.
I will be going to the Lottery in April.

Secondary Sources:
Brill, Steven. Class Warfare: Inside the Fight to Fix America’s Schools. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2011. Print.

Green, Elizabeth. “GothamSchools — Daily Independent Reporting on NYC Public Schools.” For the First Time, Charter Schools Will Open up to 4-year-olds. 29 Jan. 2011. Web. 04 Apr. 2012. <>.

“Harlem Success Academy Case Study.” – CellTrust®. 2011. Web. 04 Apr. 2012. <>.

Madeleine Sackler. The Lottery. Video documentary, 2010.

Phillips, Anna M. “Budget Analysis: Charter Spending Squeezing Education Budget.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 29 Mar. 2012. Web. 04 Apr. 2012. <>.

Maintaining A Mission: The History of Community Colleges in the United States

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Why were community colleges founded in the United States and have they maintained their original goals?

Community colleges, formally called junior colleges, provide the populations of their surrounding communities with higher education opportunity. These colleges provide associate degrees, certificate programs, developmental courses, vocational programs, distance learning opportunities, flexible scheduling, childcare, veteran resources, counseling, and employment for the communities they reside in. They provide these resources at a fraction of the cost of the traditional four- year colleges and universities. Community colleges are currently reporting record high enrollment rates; seven million students were attending community college in 2009. 1 High enrollment has lead to closer examination of their results. These institutions are under tremendous scrutiny for low retention and graduation rates.  Perhaps, a look at history can uncover what has resulted in the under performance of our countries community colleges. Why were community colleges founded in the United States and have they maintained their original goals?

Retrived from American Association of Community Colleges

In the early twentieth century community colleges were founded on the belief that a more skilled workforce would result in a stronger economy. Enrollment in high schools had increased, and additional higher education prospects were necessary 2 The history of community college creation is what I hope to examine. What were the original goals, and intentions for these institutions? Who were the original supporters of community colleges? Where were these colleges founded? Who were the first students to attended community colleges and what were their prospects upon completion? Finally, how were community colleges funded? To assist in answering some of these questions, primary source data is available at the American Association of Colleges, which houses a historical photo gallery and timeline of community college development.

In 1930, a Wisconsin automotive-mechanic class poses for a picture in their shop. Vocational schools were founded in Green Bay and Marinette in 1913 to standardize the education of apprentices. Today, those two campuses and one that opened in Sturgeon Bay in 1941 compose the Northeast Wisconsin Technical College. Retrieved from Sarah's AACC's Photostream at Flicker.

I hope to continue this research by examining the success of the early community colleges and compare that success to the community colleges of today. How did community colleges of the past contribute to the socio-economic mobility of their students? How did they respond to economic trends of the United States, and were they as scrutinized as community colleges are today? Secondary source information in “Diverted Dream” by Steven Brint and Jerome Karabel, a book about “community colleges and the promise of educational opportunity in America 1900-1985” and in “Gateway to Opportunity” by J. M. Beach will assist in answering the historical questions and provide further sources for primary data. Furthermore, I will obtain the data available through the National Center for Educational Statistics on the enrollment and retention rates of community college, which dates back to 1963 3 Additionally, I will utilize the data provided by The National Educational Longitudinal Study to help facilitate understanding of population demographics of students who have attended community college at different times throughout the past century.

While maintaining the underlying goal of the research, I am hoping that by learning who community college students were at various points in history, will provide a better analysis of the intended goals of community colleges. Have the student populations of community colleges changed over time and have they shifted the goals or purpose of community college education? As goals and directions may have shifted how were they influenced by political pressure.  In 2012 President Obama commissioned eight million dollars to go towards developing a career path for community college students 4 Were community colleges always a part of political education policy? How has politics and policy affected their goals, and rates of success?

A journal article published by Teachers College at Columbia University in 2011 “The Growth of Community Colleges in the American States: An Application of Count Models to Institutional Growth” utilizes statistical regression and data on all fifty states to suggest that political force has only small affect on the role of community colleges. It states, “This study provides support for the idea that the supply of higher education institutions is responsive to demand. Little support is found for the role of social stratification in the development of new institutions. Political forces do appear to play at least a small role in the expansion of institutions. Existing institutions may slow the growth of newer forms of post secondary education” 5 Yet, presidents as far back as Harry Truman and as recent as Obama have provided funding and addressed the state and success of community colleges 6

Today community colleges are frequently in the media. They are examined for their cost, their enrollment, their retention, their graduation rates, their curriculum and their transfer rates.  The Chronicle, a publication dedicated to the news of higher education has an entire weekly newsletter responsible for reporting the news of community colleges. Some of their articles include “Community-College Dropouts Cost Taxpayers Nearly $1-Billion a Year” and “Success Programs at Community Colleges -Often Offered, Rarely Required-Miss Many Students” are at the heart of some of the newest criticism on community colleges. The New York Times has featured pieces titled “Two-Year Colleges, Swamped, No Longer Welcome All” and “Community Colleges Need to Improve Graduation Rate” these provide proof of the current pressure that community colleges are faced with. I hope this recent media attention will help analysis when answering how community colleges are counseling, providing, and educating their seven million students? Have their goals remained the same or have they changed?

I am a graduate of community college. At community college I was provided a space to develop skills in writing, reading, and math that were never before taught to me. I was provided a community, a group of supporters who understood the precarious nature of the adult student. I was provided guidance on how to achieve and advance in my educational pursuits. I would not be at Trinity College, without community college. The topic is not only relevant because of increasing enrollment rates or media attention – it is relevant to me, and my own aspirations for educational success and completion.

Additional Works Consulted

Anon. 2012. “Community Colleges Past to Present.” American Association of Community Colleges.

Anon. “Digest of Education Statistics, 2010.”

Anon. 2012. “Low Graduation Rates at 2-Year Colleges Affect Students and State Governments, Report Says”. The Chronicle of Higher Education. The Ticker.

Anon. “Badillo Says Community Colleges Need to Improve Graduation Rate – New York Times.”

Brint, Steven, and Jerome Karabel. 1991. The Diverted Dream: Community Colleges and the Promise of Educational Opportunity in America, 1900-1985. Oxford University Press, USA.

Beach, J. M. 2011. Gateway to Opportunity: A History of the Community College in the United States. Stylus Publishing.

Doyle, William, and Alexander Gorbunov. 2011. “EBSCOhost: The Growth of Community Colleges in the American States: An Application of …” Teachers College Record 113 (8) (August): p1794–1826.

Foderaro, Lisa W. 2009. “Two-Year Colleges, Swamped, No Longer Welcome All.” The New York Times, November 12, sec. Education.

Lewin, Tamar. 2012. “Obama Budget Seeks Job Training at Community Colleges.” The New York Times, February 13, sec. Education.

Supiano, Beckie. “In California, Private Colleges Benefit From Public System’s Shrinking Capacity – Students – The Chronicle of Higher Education.”

Thomas, Jacqueline Rabe. “Report: Community College Graduation Rate Lags | The Connecticut Mirror.”

Weisberger, Ronald. 2005. “EBSCOhost: Community Colleges and Class: A Short History.” Teaching English in the Two Year College 33 (2) (December): 127–142. ERIC.

  1. Anon. “Digest of Education Statistics, 2010.”
  2. Anon. 2012. “Community Colleges Past to Present.” American Association of Community Colleges.
  3. Anon. “Digest of Education Statistics, 2010.”
  4. Lewin, Tamar. 2012. “Obama Budget Seeks Job Training at Community Colleges.” The New York Times, February 13, sec. Education.
  5. Doyle, William, and Alexander Gorbunov. 2011. “EBSCOhost: The Growth of Community Colleges in the American States: An Application of …” Teachers College Record 113 (8) (August): p1794–1826.
  6. Anon. “Community Colleges Past to Present.” American Association of Community Colleges.

Academic Dishonesty

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Research Question: What factors have lead to the growth of academic dishonesty in higher education from the 1940s to the present and how have the methods in which academic dishonesty is employed changed? More specifically, how has academic dishonesty changed throughout the years at Trinity College, both quantitatively and qualitatively?

Relevance: To most educators, the essential element to the success of their mission is academic integrity. It can be said that higher education as well as society will benefit from standards of integrity that pave the way for vibrant academic life, promote scientific progress, and prepare students for responsible citizenship. Despite efforts to maintain this academic integrity within such institutions, academic dishonesty is a major concern associated with many levels of education, especially in higher-level institutions such as colleges and universities. Academic dishonesty consists of any deliberate attempt to falsify, fabricate, or tamper with information or any other material that is relevant to the student’s participation in any academic function. Although there are many different ways in which students partake in being academically dishonest, with the invention of new technologies such as the Internet and cell phones it has become increasingly easier for students to obtain information and wrongly declare it as their own.

Research Strategy: After I had read the email sent out on Monday night from the dean of students about the summary of academic and non-academic judicial cases resolved by the Honor Council or administrative panels for the academic year 2011-present date, I decided to change my research topic to be about academic dishonesty. I read through the nine cases and realized the different ways in which academic integrity had been violated, including directly copying another student’s work, plagiarizing from internet sources, and receiving information for an exam via text from a teacher’s assistant. From here I began my research on academic dishonesty in colleges and universities about why it has increased and in what ways has it changed over the years. I first went to Google scholar and typed in phrases such as “Academic dishonesty in higher education,” “Plagiarism in colleges and universities,” “Academic Integrity,” and “Academic dishonesty and the internet/technology.” I also went to the Trinity College Library homepage, went to Trinity Online Resources (TOR) and looked under Educational Studies and searched some of the same phrases. Although I have not done this yet, I want to look for sources within the Trinity College Library that contain cases and records of academic dishonesty that have occurred beginning in the 1940s to present day. I want to do this in order to be able to detect whether there were any significant changes in the number of reported cases throughout the years as well as determine if the ways in which students cheated or plagiarized have changed overtime.


Maramark, S., & Maline, M. B. (1993). Issues in education: Academic dishonesty amongcollege students. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement.

Academic Dishonesty: Honor Codes and Other Contextual Influences. Donald L. McCabe and Linda Klebe TrevinoThe Journal of Higher Education , Vol. 64, No. 5 (Sep. – Oct., 1993), pp. 522-538

Diekhoff, George M., Emily E. LaBeff, Robert E. Clark, Larry E. Williams, Billy Francis, and Valerie J. Haines. “College Cheating: Ten Years Later.” Research in Higher Education 37.4 (1996): 487-502. Print.

Rettinger, David A., and Yair Kramer. “Situational and Personal Causes of Student Cheating.” Research in Higher Education 50.3 (2009): 293-313. Print.

Koljatic, Mladen. “Comparison Of Students’ And Faculty’s Perceptions Of Occurrence Of Dishonest Academic Behaviors.” Psychological Reports 90.3 (2002): 883. Print.

Akbulut, Y., S. Sendag, G. Birinci, K. Kilicer, M. Sahin, and H. Odabasi. “Exploring the Types and Reasons of Internet-triggered Academic Dishonesty among Turkish Undergraduate Students: Development of Internet-Triggered Academic Dishonesty Scale (ITADS).” Computers & Education 51.1 (2008): 463-73. Print.

ERIC – World’s Largest Digital Library of Education Literature. Web. 04 Apr. 2012. <>.

“An Ethical Dilemma: Talking About Plagiarism and Academic Integrity in the Digital Age More.” An Ethical Dilemma: Talking About Plagiarism and Academic Integrity in the Digital Age (Ebony Elizabeth Thomas). Web. 04 Apr. 2012. <>.

Jones, D. L. R. (2011). Academic dishonesty: Are more students cheating? Business Communication Quarterly, 74(2), 141-150.;

Witherspoon, M., Maldonado, N., & Lacey, C. H. (2010). Academic dishonesty of undergraduates: Methods of cheating. ().

Research Paper Proposal

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Bobby Moore

Ed 300

Professor Dougherty


Potential Research Question – How has educational value shifted from a complete to a more test based curriculum due to No Child Left Behind? How has accountability changed the idea of education especially in Connecticut?

The drive to make teachers more accountable for their students is a trend spreading across the nation like wildfire. While there are positives to accountability there are also many negative aspects to go alongside. I believe that teachers should be accountable, but to what degree? How much impact, for example, is it fair to expect a teacher to have on a student who comes from a broken home? What do we expect from a teacher who takes on a student who received a poor education prior to entering that teacher’s class? Are we expecting a teacher to produce the same test scores from students in a lesser class as they do from students in an honors class?

Another main aspect to my argument is the entire idea of “teaching to the test”, which is a curriculum that is entirely based off of preparing students for test taking.

A key example of this idea is the No Child Left Behind Act. In a major expansion of the federal role in education, the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) requires annual testing, specifies a method for judging school effectiveness, sets a timeline for progress, and establishes specific consequences in the case of failure. Over the past decade we have seen the entire idea of education change due to the No Child Left Behind program. Test scores are one way to evaluate students, teachers, and schools, but cannot be the only way. It is important to remember that tests are more than just numbers and scores. There are many other ways to conduct testing which do no place such extreme emphasis on numerical value and test taking. I want to take a look at the curriculum for schools before NCLB and after. I plan on using the state of Connecticut especially and my main sources in regards to Connecticut will be the CMT scores over the past 12 years.


Aspey, Susan. “Charting the Course: States Decide Major Provisions Under No Child Left Behind.” U.S. Department of Education.

Ravitch, Diane. The death and life of the great American school system: how testing and choice are undermining education. New York: Basic Books, 2010. Print.

“Teacher Accountability: Test Scores an Incomplete Measure – Teacher Talk – Connecticut News.” Connecticut News – Connecticut News. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Apr. 2012.

“Testing: Frequently Asked Questions.” U.S Department Of Education. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Apr. 2012. <>.


“Connecticut Student Assessment.”Connecticut Student Assessment. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Apr. 2012. <>.

I also plan on using the various web resources on our wesbsite:

Research Proposal – Bilingualism: two-way immersion

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Research Question: What are the long-term effects of two-way bilingual immersion programs and how have schools implemented different variations of the model?

Relevance: Bilingual education is a controversial topic in the field of education. Today, schools are flooded with students that have limited English proficiency. In many cases, these students receive little assistance from schools when learning English and are forced lose a part of their heritage when their primary language is suppressed. Two-way bilingual immersion programs integrate native English speakers and native speakers of a different language for academic instruction through both languages. Unlike ESL where only language minority students are learning the dominant language, the programs designed by this model are options that benefit both language minority and language majority students. I am interested in researching what are the long-term effects and how do individual programs in different schools implement this model in their curriculum. Although studies have been conducted that examine the effectiveness of this model, many two-way immersion practitioners struggle with which approaches that are most beneficial. This topic sparked my interest because although I am bilingual, in my opinion bilingualism is looked down upon. I believe implementing bilingual education using the two-way immersion model in school’s curriculum will help produce better citizens for our society.

Research Strategy The main component of my research strategy was using two online databases: Google Scholar and Trinity Online Resources. First, I began my search using Google Scholar. I searched phrases such as “two-way immersion” and “two-way immersion bilingual program.” While reading the abstract of several articles, I decided it will be helpful to use articles that discussed the two-way immersion model itself so that I can get a better understanding of it and its goals. Then, I began to come across articles that focused on individual programs designed using this model which inspired me to look at a variety programs in different contexts and compare and contrast their approaches. When using Trinity Online Resources, I searched the same phrases in addition to “two-way immersion AND kindergarten,” “two-way immersion AND elementary,” “two-way immersion AND history,” and “two-way immersion AND change.” Searching these phrases gave me limited or no resources to look at.  Using Trinity Online Resources, I came across the book Realizing the Vision of Two-Way Immersion: Fostering Effective Programs and Classrooms. Because I am interested in using this book, I clicked on a link which directed me to the Center for Applied Linguistics and there found another potential source, Profiles in Two-Way Immersion Education. On the website, access to both books requires a fee and Trinity College does not have a copy in the library. If these sources are appropriate for my research, are there any other ways to have access to these books?



Alanís, Iliana. “A Texas Two-way Bilingual Program: Its Effects on Linguistic and Academic Achievement.” Bilingual Research Journal 24, no. 3 (2000): 225–248.

  • This article is a study that “examines a variety of student outcomes in the area of linguistic and academic development and determines whether students enrolled in a two-way bilingual program for a minimum of three years are achieving academically.”

Barnett, W. Steven, Donald J. Yarosz, Jessica Thomas, Kwanghee Jung, and Dulce Blanco. “Two-way and Monolingual English Immersion in Preschool Education: An Experimental Comparison.” Early Childhood Research Quarterly 22, no. 3 (January 3, 2007): 277–293.

  • This article discusses an “experimental study that conducted comparing the effects of dual language, or two-way immersion (TWI) and monolingual English immersion (EI) preschool education programs on children’s learning.”

Cazabon, Mary, and Wallace E. Lambert. “Two-Way Bilingual Education: A Progress Report on the Amigos Program” (January 1, 1993).

  • “This report describes research that was conducted on the achievement in mathematics and in Spanish and English language arts of Amigos (Amigos two-way bilingual education program) students and students in control/comparison groups.

Christian, Donna. “Two‐Way Immersion Education: Students Learning Through Two Languages.” The Modern Language Journal 80, no. 1 (March 1, 1996): 66–76.

  • This article discusses the current state of two-way immersion programs in the United States through a study of over 160 schools between 1991 and 1994.

Christian, Donna, Christopher L. Montone, Kathryn J. Lindholm, and Isolda Carranza. Profiles in Two-Way Immersion Education. Delta Publishing Company, 1997.

  • “This volume begins the process of documenting that experience by profiling two-way immersion programs in three schools that are implementing different variations of the model.”

Howard, Elizabeth R., and Julie Sugarman. Realizing the Vision of Two-Way Immersion: Fostering Effective Programs and Classrooms. Center for Applied Linguistics and Delta Publishing Company, 2007.

  • “Drawing on a decade of research, this book explores the question of effectiveness in two-way immersion by examining the development of bilingualism and biliteracy in elementary TWI students.”

Lindholm-Leary, Kathryn J. “The Rich Promise of Two-Way Immersion.” Educational Leadership 62, no. 4: 56–59.

  • This article discusses the benefits of two-way bilingual immersion programs and how they give students’ academic confidence and broader cultural awareness.

Senesac, Barbara V. Kirk. “Two-Way Bilingual Immersion: A Portrait of Quality Schooling.” Bilingual Research Journal 26, no. 1 (2002).

  • This article discusses two-way immersion programs in the context of the Inter-American Magnet School in Chicago.

Americanization Through Education

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Booker Evans

Ed 300 Research Proposal

Research Question: How has education contributed to the Americanization of different minorities and immigrants? Why is this socialization important for the growth of a unified nation? Have advances in education provided equal opportunities for advancement in society for all races or is there still more to be done?

Relevance: This semester I am enrolled in this class about Education Reform as well as Education & Anthropology. I have noticed through the assigned readings in these two classes that the process of education is one that forces students to assimilate to a certain set of rules in order to be successful. Sometimes students are forced to alter their personal beliefs and/or change their morals with the intent of pleasing the administration and getting “good grades”. In our most recent reading Education for Extinction: American Indians and the Boarding School Experience by David Adams we learned about how groups of American Indians were shipped off to boarding schools, had their haircut and had to go through a set of somewhat degrading rule changes that stripped them of their former identity. I want to look at how this socialization process through the education system has happened to the American Indians in addition to immigrants, blacks, Hispanics and Asians. I want to find out why this happened and is still happening and why this process has been necessary for the growth of American society. Finally, after defining the Americanization process through education and why it happens I am interested in finding remedies for this emotionally damaging tradition. Is there a middle ground? For example, is there a possibility of keeping your native American traditions while being a successful student in this day and age. Where does the compromise stop?

Research Strategy: I want to investigate a large period of the history of education in America. It might be good to use Google Scholar and Pro Quest. I topic like this might be best found in books around the library. I can review the readings that I already have from the classes that I’m in. It may be good to contact a librarian for more information on what I want to look for.


David Adams, Education for Extinction: American Indians and the Boarding School Experience, 1875-1928. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1995

need more sources….

Addition of Departments/Programs to Trinity throughout History

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Danyelle Doldoorian

April 4th, 2012

EDUC 300 Research Proposal

Research Question: When and why were new departments/program created over time at Trinity College?

Significance: Researching the connection between what and when departments/programs are added and what was happening at the time of addition, it is very evident that Trinity’s department/program additions reflect student demand and events current at the time.  Trinity has implemented women’s studies, aerospace, gay and lesbian, and African studies programs amongst many others.  Each of these programs was put into place for a reason.

Over time, departments/programs are added to schools.  This happens for a variety of reasons such as student demand or current events.  Throughout Trinity’s history, many departments/programs have been added, and for both of these reasons.  For example, African studies was added to the school because of student activism in the form of the famous “lock in,” and Aerospace studies was added during America’s “Space Race” with the Soviet Union.  The addition of departments/programs is relevant because it reflects the changing times.  It reflects what students now find important and what is happening in history.   Therefore, department/program additions reflect the campus’s as well as the state or country’s political climate.

Research Strategy: To research the answer to my research question, I had to research three things: what departments/programs were created, when those departments/programs were created, and what caused the creation of those departments/programs.

In order to find what and when departments were created, I looked through several editions of Trinity’s bulletin.  Searching through the bulletins chronologically, from oldest to newest, I searched through the “Course Offerings” section of each bulletin and noted each department or program addition in comparison to the preceding bulletin.   I was then able to see in which year (roughly, as I did not have access to every bulletin) departments/programs were added and what the departments/programs were.  For example, the 2000-2001 bulletin showed that Gay and Lesbian Studies was a part of the Trinity offerings, but this program was not shown in the 1990-1991 bulletin.  This was noted.

After looking through eight bulletins, noting each department/program addition for each, I was able to research the third question: what caused the creation of those departments/programs?  To do this, I searched on Google a topic related to the department/program and, if necessary, time period in which the department was added.  For example, from 1960 to 1970, the “Air Space” department turned into the “Aerospace” department.  So I searched for “space exploration” in Google.   After clicking on a Wikipedia page, I remembered the “Space Race” between the USA and Russia.  I then searched this topic and found a credible article from the History Channel’s website.  I now had a source which I could use to explain the reasoning behind the creation of the aerospace program at Trinity.  I followed this process for each of the important department/programs that were created and listed in Trinity’s bulletins.

In addition to this method, I used a database provided to us on the Ed Reform website in order to find articles of relevance for any extra information.  On the Ed Reform website under “Resources & Guidelines” I clicked “Trinity Online Resources in Ed” and then “Education full text.”  Then in the research bars I entered key words.  I wanted to find more information about how the Cold War altered curriculum in schools.  I searched “cold war” AND “curriculum” which led me to a relevant article which I can use.  My next steps to finding more relevant information is to search through Trinity’s Tripod archives on to find if any student action led to the addition of departments/programs and going to the Watkinson library to find more bulletins and more student-action information.

Bibliography and Explanations:

Carlson, Dennis. “The Cold War in the Curriculum.” Educational Leadership 42 (05 1985).

  • This is the article I found in the database mentioned above.  This article can possibly give me more information on how schools changed their curriculum during the Cold War as Trinity seemingly did at the time.

Head, Tom. “The American Gay Rights Movement – A Short History.” – Civil Liberties, 2012.

  • Gay and Lesbian Studies was added between 1991 and 2000, so this source will give me insight as to why this program was added at this specific point in time.  I will also look in the Tripod archives to see if there was any student activism which called for the addition of this department.  This is a credible source as Tom Head has written 24 books, most of which are about civil rights and related topics.

Kennedy, David M., Lizabeth Cohen, and Thomas A. Bailey. The American Pageant. 13th ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2006.

  • This is a textbook I have from high school.  It has clear and concise explanations of events in history and will give me great insight as to what was happening at the time these departments/programs were added.

National Academy of Engineering. “Airplane Timeline – Greatest Engineering Achievements of the Twentieth Century.” Greatest Engineering Achievements of the 20th Century, 2012.

  • “Air Space” was added as a department between 1949 and 1953.  This site has information about the use of aircrafts at the time which will help me infer why the program was put into place at this point in time.

“The Space Race.” The History Channel Website, 2012.

  • (Explained above.)

“Trinity College Hartford, Connecticut Bulletin”, 1930-2001

  • (Explained above.)

Research Proposal

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Research Question: How have budget cuts and the varying importance of SAT results shaped public school curriculums over time and which components of a well-rounded education have suffered most as a result of these budget cuts?

Relevance: Just as elementary schools have adjusted curriculums to “teach to the test” in order to improve scores, high schools have also adjusted their curriculums in order to produce higher SAT scores and improve their college matriculation.  As schools become underfunded they must decide which components of a child’s education must be sacrificed so that they can still receive a proper education while also attempting to receive a well-rounded education.  As budget cuts increase, schools are being forced to cut programs that do not directly translate into test results, and important programs such as the arts and athletics are suffering within schools and students are no longer receiving the education across the same variety of subjects that used to receive.  This research project will observe how schools have adjusted their curriculums in correspondence to the fluctuating importance of the SAT when compared to grade point average.  I would also like to observe how these curriculum adjustments have affected college matriculation in order to compete with more privileged private schools.  Recently, more privileged families have used their resources in order to ensure that their children will be able to receive all the benefits of a well-rounded education, however students without such benefits have suffered.  Initially it seemed that schools were making the smart decision to prioritize SAT scores and linked them directly with a student’s preparation towards college success.  Recently, those opinions have begun to vary as schools are now attempting to find ways to ensure that students are able to participate in a variety of classes and activities in order to maintain an interest in school and motivate students further to want to succeed at the high school and college levels.

Research Strategy:

  1. The first component of my research involves searching online databases for articles involving SAT importance in high schools since its installation in 1926.  Articles were also researched that examined the severity of budget cuts within certain schools and observing which programs were more generally favored when those cuts were enacted.  The research covers budget cuts more specifically within the last fifty years as the SAT became more established as a factor for college admissions and observing how public school curriculums were adjusted in order to more greatly aid students succeed in the SAT and allow the schools college matriculation to improve.
  2. I have contacted Stephen Wallace, the former directors of Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) for an interview and he has agreed to discuss the importance of a well-rounded education while also highlighting the additional risks teenagers face when schools are not able to create a more well-rounded environment due to schools not being able to provide the programs, and when the importance of the SAT is stressed to older students, they are also prone to enter high-stress environments that can affect teenagers without the benefits of other programs to help them.
  3. I am also considering contacting some of my peers that transferred from their local public schools after programs that they had been heavily involved with had been cut from the school.  These interviews would establish the present danger that public schools face when a well-rounded education was sacrificed in order to prioritize programs that focus towards SAT results and programs that were more traditionally recognized to aid college matriculation.
  4. I am also planning on looking through Trinity College’s admissions records and observing how the percentage of applicants from public schools has changed over the last fifty years, and comparing them to data that will compare the SAT scores of average student, the average public school student, and the average private school student.


Gewertz, Catherine. “SAT Scores: A Gauge of College Readiness?” 14 Sept. 2011. Web. 1 Apr. 2012.

Robelen, Erik. “Budget Pact Deals Blow to Literacy, History Programs.” 13 Apr. 2011. Web.

Wallace, Stephen Gray: Former CEO of Students Against Destructive Decisions.  Author The Reality Gap.

Research Proposal

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Research Question: Why did many American colleges and institutions of higher learning decide to co-educate? What changes did co-education for colleges entitle, and how do those changes show progression in women’s education?

Relevance: After working in the Watkinson Library and looking through yearbooks and bulletins, I became very interested in the topic of co-education. It never occurred to me that the co-education in higher institutions of learning such as colleges and universities was so recent. Trinity College made the drastic change and became a college that admitted women in 1969; it was one of the first colleges to do so. Although that change was made over 40 years ago, in respect to the history of this country and other advancements made in favor or women in the past, 40 years ago was relatively recent. This study is relevant to education 300 because it has a direct connection to our college itself, and marks an important milestone in the history of our nation, the history of progress for females, and the history of education. The decision to admit women to universities and colleges marked a revolutionary moment for education. This decision altered the way college programs ran, the curriculum, campus life, and basically every aspect of the college. The decision to co-educate at the college level also provided women with more job opportunities as they learned the skills necessary to obtain successful careers; careers that would not have necessarily been open to them from attending primary and secondary schools. With all this in mind, the decision to co-educate was largely monumental and thus deserves careful research. After all, this decision has changed the American education system forever.

Research Strategy: I would like to investigate several aspects of co-education. I wish to investigate when various colleges and universities decided to adopt co-education. I wish to compare these statistics to Trinity to help me better understand the motives for co-education. I also wish to look at these statistics in order to better understand what year was the norm for the transformation of colleges and universities into co-education institutions. I would also like to research the education opportunities for women before colleges and universities decided to co-educate. Thus, I would like to look extensively at women’s schooling in the past, during more recent times, but also during times such as the women’s rights movement.  Research on these topics will support a more comprehensive analysis for the answer of my question, as well as indicate what types of jobs women may have been eligible for before they attended universities. Of course I will also include research directly relevant to my question. I will use scholarly articles from websites such as Google scholar and JSTOR when conducting my research. I will also use newspaper sources such as the Hartford Courant and the NY Times Historical. I will also contact the librarian in order to obtain any necessary print information that would further my topic.


Primary Sources:

  1. 1. Educating Women in America by Sally Schwager
  • Article located on JStor
  • Published by the University of Chicago Press.

2. The Hartford Courant: College Education for Women New York Times (1857-1922); Nov 18, 1888; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851-2008) pg. 4

Secondary Sources:

1. Co-Education Attacked: The Hartford Courant (1887-1922); Jun 11, 1915; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: Hartford Courant (1764-1986) pg. 8

  • This source addresses the debate surrounding co-education at the University of Pennsylvania. Although this article reflects the specific issues of one school with this concept, it also reflects on the sentiments of other colleges and the controversies that surrounded co-education.

2. EDUCATION IN REVIEW: Great Increase in Number of Women Students Brings Many Chang

By BENJAMIN FINE New York Times (1923-Current file); Sep 30, 1945; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851-2008) pg. 79

  • This source touches on the many issues that plagued college campuses when they first decided to co-educate. Once again, this source testifies to the controversies that surrounded this change.

3. The New York Times (1851-2008): The Results of Six Years Experiences in the University of Michigan

  • This source is useful in obtaining information about the actual practice of co-education in Universities. It displays the gender dynamic between men and women, and what was expected of women.

Goals and Methods of Gifted Education

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Richelle Benjamin
Professor Jack Dougherty
EDUC 300
4 April 2012

Research Proposal

“How have the goals and methods of gifted education changed since the 1950s? What do these goals and methods say about the intended purpose of gifted education?”

Gifted children are students recognized by the school system as pupils with exceptionally high levels of intelligence and creativity. Schools identify a need to provide these students with an alternative form of education, generally referred to as Gifted and Talented education. Gifted and Talented programs exist with the purpose of catering to the needs of gifted students. In general, they seek to provide gifted students with a challenging curriculum that will allow the student to continue to progress in his or her education, instead of being held back by a curriculum catering to average or below average students. Recognition of the need to distinguish the education of gifted students from other students has existed since the 1950s. What my research paper will do is examine how the opinions and approach to gifted education have varied during the past sixty years as it has been discussed in books and scholarly articles. More specifically, I will examine how the goals and methods for teaching gifted students have progressed through these years. I would like to look at several aspects of gifted education, including whether or not the students are incorporated into the regular classroom, what subjects teachers focus on, and what skills gifted education instructors focus on establishing within the student. I intend to see a shift in focus in each decade as gifted education changes to accommodate to the needs of a progressing society.

I began my research in two places: in the library’s main collection of books and using Trinity Online Resources. In the main collection, I found many books dealing with gifted students and gifted education—an entire section, in fact. I sorted through the books to select the ones I thought were most relevant. These included books specifically mentioning the “teaching of” gifted students or the “curriculum for” gifted education. These books would apply more to my research question, as they would provide more information on the methods of teaching gifted students. I made sure to grab books from different decades as well, to be sure that I was looking at goals and methods through a span of time starting in the 1950s. Online, I used TOR to research articles that would be relevant to my research. In creating my preliminary list of resources, I focused, once again, on articles that specifically focused on the teaching of gifted students versus the establishment of gifted programs or the controversy behind them.

I would like to continue my research with more analysis of primary sources. I would like to expand my list of sources to curriculums of different decades and firsthand accounts from teachers involved in educating gifted students.

List of Sources (With Selected Annotations)

Cropley, Arthur, and John McLeod. “Preparing Teachers of the Gifted.” International Review of Education / Internationale Zeitschrift für Erziehungswissenschaft / Revue Internationale de l’Education 32.2 (1986): 125–136. Print.

  • Cropley and McLeod’s work, written in 1986, outlines the importance of the teacher’s role in gifted education. In their article, the author’s recognize the specific needs of gifted students and how these needs can be addressed by instructors of gifted education. By examining these needs, the authors ultimately expose the goals of gifted education during that decade.

Fliegler, Louis A. Curriculum Planning for the Gifted. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1961. Print.

  • Fliegler’s book provides advice for creating a curriculum in every subject, be it history, science, math, or creative writing. For each subject, the author informs the educator of how to identify a gifted student in that particular subject, what gifted programs for that subject are currently in practice, and how an instructor can build an adequate program in that subject. The book also offers project ideas for each subject taught.

French, Joseph L. Educating the Gifted, a Book of Readings. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1964. Print.

Gallagher, James John. Teaching the Gifted Child. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1977. Print.

Gallagher, Selena, Susen R. Smith, and Peter Merrotsy. “Teachers’ Perceptions of the Socioemotional Development of Intellectually Gifted Primary Aged Students and Their Attitudes Towards Ability Grouping and Acceleration.” Gifted & Talented International 26.1/2 (2011): 11–24. Print.

Ogilvie, Eric. Gifted Children in Primary Schools. Macmillan Education, 1975. Print.

Plunkett, Margaret1, and Leonie2 Kronborg. “Learning to Be a Teacher of the Gifted: The Importance of Examining Opinions and Challenging Misconceptions.” Gifted & Talented International 26.1/2 (2011): 31–46. Print.

Rakow, Susan1. “Helping Gifted Learners SOAR.” Educational Leadership 69.5 (2012): 34–40. Print.

  • Rakow’s article, published in 2012, provides an overview of the necessary steps educators need to take in order to create a positive gifted educational experience for their students. These steps include pre-assessment and differentiation. The article emphasizes that gifted education should group students together, but not place them in a track. It also establishes the purpose of early gifted education as laying the foundation for the pursuit of AP classes once the student reaches high school.

Stanley, Julian C. The Gifted and the Creative: A Fifty-year Perspective. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univ. Pr., 1977. Print.

Worcester, Dean A. The Education of Children of Above-average Mentality. University of Nebraska, 1956. Print.

Yamin, Taisir Subhi. “Gifted Education: Provisions, Case Studies, Models, and Challenges.” Gifted & Talented International 25.2 (2010): 7–10. Print.

Impact of Teach for America

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Research Question: Since its origin in 1990, what positive or negative impact has Teach For America made on the low-income schools it serves?

Relevance: Many organizations such as Teach for America, or other similar programs such as the Peace Corps, claim to make an incredible impact on the underprivileged areas they serve and solely a positive impact. The home page of TFA states, “Teach For America is growing the movement of leaders who work to ensure that kids growing up in poverty get an excellent education.” Through this research paper I strive to identify if Teach For America has truly been providing this “excellent education” and if not, what flaws have emerged since its origin. I am incredibly devoted to entering the field of education and have also been interested in this program as a path post-graduation, yet I have been exposed too much skepticism, as well as praise, from peers that have left me confused about whether or not to pursue this specific option. I would like to conduct interviews with both Teach For America corps members as well as experienced teachers who work with these novice teachers and seek their feedback in regards to the program. So far I have contacted Nicole Nardella who is currently in Washington D.C. as a corps member for Teach For America and have plans to reach out to another Trinity graduate as well who is currently placed in New Orleans.

Resources: To begin my research I scheduled a meeting with one of the Trinity College librarians, Rob Walsh. By beginning with the simple search of “Teach for America” on Google Scholar we were immediately able to find some incredibly relevant secondary and primary sources. Once we saved the most relevant sources to Zotero we then proceeded to go to the Trinity College Library webpage where we used ERIC to find numerous other secondary sources. Throughout the rest of our meeting we also discussed possibilities for primary sources and Rob was even able to reach out to one of the Teach For America corps members on my behalf in hopes of conducting an interview with her.

Primary Sources:

1. Kopp, W. One Day, All Children: The Unlikely Triumph of Teach for America and What I Learnt Along the Way. Public Affairs, 2003.

I would like to look at this book in order to gain insight about why Wendy Kopp initially began this program and what impact she initially intended to make on the schools she planned to work with and send corps members to. By gaining this base-line understanding of the program I can then proceed to see if the program has changed and impacted schools in the way it intended to.

2. Interviews

I have reached out to Nicole Nardella who is a Trinity College alum currently participating in Teach For America and she has agreed to participate in a phone interview with me in order to get the perspective of someone currently participating in the program. As stated above, Rob Walsh has also contacted another Trinity alum for me. Nicole is in Washington D.C. and the other participant (Rob could not recall her last name while meeting with me but he said he would get back to me as soon as possible) is in New Orleans. I plan to gain value in regards to the differences and similarities between these two teachers and the impact they believe Teach For America to have in their particular schools.

As well as Teach for America corps members I plan to find at least one experienced teacher in the Hartford who has experience working with these corps members for years and can provide feedback as to the impact they have had over time in the schools systems.

Secondary Sources: All found on Google Scholar or through ERIC on the Trinity College Library website.

1. Darling-Hammond, L. “Who Will Speak for the Children? How’Teach for America’hurts Urban Schools and Students.” The Kappan 76, no. 1 (1994).

I plan to use this article to look at the flaws that developed towards the beginning of Teach for America. Almost immediately there were issues of attrition rate among the corps members and Darling-Hammond also addresses the inadequate preparation members have before entering the school systems.

2. Decker, P. T, D. P Mayer, S. Glazerman, and University of Wisconsin–Madison. Institute for Research on Poverty. The Effects of Teach for America on Students: Findings from a National Evaluation. University of Wisconsin–Madison, Institute for Research on Poverty, 2004.

This article counters Darling-Hammond’s arguement that Teach For America has had an overall positive impact.

3. Donaldson, Morgaen L., and Susan Moore Johnson. “Teach For America Teachers: How Long Do They Teach? Why Do They Leave?” Phi Delta Kappan 93, no. 2 (October 2011): 47–51.

This article provides, for the most part, very unbiased statistics that are portrayed with a more positive tone but also address some negatives. It gives specific statistics about attrition and retention rates of Teach for America corps members.

4. Raymond, M., S. H Fletcher, and J. Luque. “Teach for America: An Evaluation of Teacher Differences and Student Outcomes in Houston, Texas.” CREDO Report (2001).

I am interested in looking at the impact Teach For America has had in numerous different locations and this article states that the impact was a positive one in Texas. Through talking to the two Trinity alums I will also gain knowledge about D.C. and New Orleans and hopefully I can also find information from within the Hartford area.

5. Viadero, Debra. “Study Finds Benefits in Teach for America.” Education Week 23, no. 40 (2004): 1,26.

I currently cannot gain access to this source but according to the abstract it is analyzing the impact Teach for America has had and also addresses all of the critiques of the program. I plan to work with a librarian to gain full access to this source since it directly addresses my research question.

Caribbean Students in U.S Colleges/Universities

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Research Question: How has the culture of Caribbean Students accepted into U.S college/universities change or stay the same since Affirmative Action? What influenced this change? What do various ethnic groups in the U.S think of this change?

Relevance: In order to get a job in almost any field in today’s society it is a requirement to have an undergraduate degree from an institution of higher learning. For this reason the pool of students applying to Colleges and Universities in the United States has dramatically increased over the years. Most of these institutions have made it a priority to accept a diverse population into their specific institution after the approval of Affirmative Action, which prohibits any organization to discriminate against an individual because of their race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation or national origin. Since affirmative action in the 1960s the acceptance rate of minority students has steadily increased. Although there has been an increase in minorities accepted into U.S Colleges/Universities, there has not been an even distribution of native minority students who are accepted and immigrant minority students accepted. It was not until this past Black History month that I was informed that the majority of minority students accepted into U.S Colleges/Universities are from foreign countries. This fact startled me and since being presented with this information I have been determined to figure out more information on this topic. This topic also sparked my interest because I have a personal connection with the material seeing that I was born in the Caribbean and am now attending a U.S college.

With all this said I think this topic is relevant to Ed. 300 because since being implemented Affirmative Action has transformed the life of African American students in U.S schools to provide them with an equal educational experience.  Everyone wants to believe that we live in a just society where everything is made equal but even creating a policy such as Affirmative Action does not eliminate prejudice. However, Affirmative Action has achieved a laundry list of things since its short existence including magnifying how Colleges/Universities admission officials have favored immigrant, specifically Caribbean, students over native minority students into their institutions.

Research Strategy:
I mentioned earlier that I was informed of this phenomenon in February. This topic was surfaced at a Black History Month event hosted by a Caribbean Student here at Trinity that focused on what it means to be “African-American”. She had found a video and very controversial article in the Washington Post centered on Shirley Wilcher’s, executive director of the American Association for Affirmative Action, research findings on the increased acceptance rate of students from Africa and the Caribbean and a decrease in the acceptance rate of native blacks. I first reread this article. Later in my research process I plan on looking up other articles where Shirley Wilcher voices her opinion on how she feels about the shift in acceptance rate since she was a student in the 1970’s. After participating in the activity in class I was presented with advice to branch out and research the culture of Caribbean Students in U.S schools and how that has changed over the years. I have already found numerous articles that address this issue. I began my search by going to goggle and typed in the following phrases:

1. Acceptance rate of Caribbean students in U.S college and universities-only showed Caribbean medical schools
2. Carribbean students-gave me a lot of results that mentioned only schools in the Caribbean
3. Caribbean students in U.S colleges-gave me 3 really good articles on Caribbean students culture
4. Used the citation of one of the previous articles as a search phrase-led me to an article on Black immigrants and Black Natives attending selective colleges/universities in U.S
After finding these articles I went to JStor and typed in “Caribbean students in U.S colleges AND universities” in the search box and found a very intriguing article on the difference in college attendance of immigrant blacks, native blacks, and whites.

Primary Sources:
1. Bennett, Pamela R., and Amy Lutz. “How African American Is the Net Black Advantage? Differences in College Attendance Among Immigrant Blacks, Native Blacks, and Whites.” Sociology of Education 82, no. 1 (January 1, 2009): 70–99.

2. Burrell-McRae, Karlene AP. “Ivy League or Nothing: Influences of Caribbean American Students’ College Aspiration and Choice”. University of Pennsylvania, 2009.

3. ANNA, CARA. “Among Black Students, Many Immigrants.” The Washington Post, April 30, 2007, sec. Nation.

4. D. Bruce Cambell Jr. “Caribbean Student’s Adjustment to a Culture at a Small, Liberal Arts College”, 2002.

5. Massey, Douglas, Margarita Mooney, Kimberly Torres, and Camille Charles. “Black Immigrants and Black Natives Attending Selective College and Universities in the United States.” American Journal of Education 113, no. 0195–6744 (February 2007).

6. Not only do I want to use online articles but I would also like to interview as much undergraduate Caribbean students both on this campus and at other campuses, not prohibiting students who have already received their undergraduate degree to participate.

How Have Efforts to Racially Integrate Changed Over Time at Trinity College?

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Research Question: Trinity College’s Education and the Need to Racially Integrate: How have efforts to racially integrate changed over time? What methods were used in the past and being used today?Are the Posse Foundation and Questbridge avenues for racial integration?

Relevance: My question has relevance because it seeks to track the change in racial composition of Trinity College’s campus starting as early as mid 1900’s. I am interested in seeing how Trinity College went about bring diversity on its campus and classrooms, but more importantly I want to focus on the rumor within the Trinity College Community that states that the Posse and Questbridge scholarships are methods of bringing more minority students to Trinity who otherwise would not attend. Being that the majority of people accepted into Trinity College through those programs are minorities , I find it interesting to research (1) if this thought is actually accurate as well as (2) the efforts Trinity College has taken to integrate its student body population.

Research Strategy:

1)      I first went to the Watkinson Library in search of any historical accounts of the first Black student at Trinity College as well as the implementation of the Posse and Questbridge Scholarships. After speaking to Peter Knapp, I was informed that Trinity did not keep an account of their Black students if there were any. He gave me a book of his that gave me information about public knowledge of the number of Black students at Trinity College and the Civil Rights Movement. From his book, which was co-written by Anne Knapp, I learned that Trinity only kept accounts of students of color on campus after World War II. In addition, there was no information about the start of the Posse Scholarship.

I intend of going back to the Watkinson Library to look through old year books for more information on the admission of Black students into the college.

2)      I will contact the Posse Foundation as well as Questbridge’s Directors about the use of their scholarship programs a Trinity College. I think it will be interesting to see their take on the implementation of their programs at Trinity College and the fact that most of their scholars are minorities in a school that is lacking in diversity.,

3)      In addition to those methods, I have contacted Dorthy Thompson to see if she could give me any information on the types of funds that are collected for the scholarships of these students. I want to see if there are any economic connections with how Trinity College admits Black students.

4)      Based off of the advice I received from a librarian at the Watkinson Library, I will search through the Tripod archive in search for articles about racial integration on campus as well as the Posse and Questbridge scholarships.

Cernera, Karisa. “The Trinity Tripod.” Class of 2014 Boasts Unprecedented Diversity[Hartford] 14 Sept. 2010. The Trinity Tripod. The Trinity Tripod. Web. 04 Apr. 2012. <>.

Hu, Winnie. “An Inward Look at Racial Tension at Trinity College.” New York Times, 18 Dec. 2006. Web. 4 Apr. 2012. <>.

Knapp, Peter J., and Anne H. Knapp. Trinity College in the Twentieth Century: A History. Hartford, CT: Trinity College, 2000. Print.

Coeducation in Colleges

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Devon MacGillivray

Ed 300 Research Proposal


Research Question

How did the acceptance of women to Trinity affect the structure of each major? Did certain majors become either male or female-dominated? If so, what reasons might the majors attract one gender versus the other? Why?


Having researched admissions statistics when the class was assigned to analyze Trinity Archives sources, I also looked at some major statistics for a select few years. Proposing to look further into major statistics at Trinity College is relevant to Ed 300 because it is directly related to the coeducation movement, integrating girls and boys in a classroom. When girls were introduced into a classroom setting with boys, there was a different set of standards that needed to be upheld for both sexes. These standards that were set with only made more important in college since there was no longer 24-hour supervision that was once provided by parents. As an Economics and American Studies double major, with a concentration in gender and identity, most of my collegiate career has been spent studying women’s roles in America and the separation between men and women, as well as personally experiencing what studying in the male-dominated field of economics is like. From the little research I have done using Trinity data, I know that Economics is one of the largest fields of study offered at the college, therefore I think it is important to address when the field started to grow for both men and women. To address the questions I have proposed, it will be necessary to see which majors/fields are more popular among men and women, and if these fields may be “stereotypical,” which in turn causes them to be unattractive to one sex or the other. Finally, I think it will also be important to address when certain majors were introduced, specifically if some of the female-dominated majors slowly became popular to women, or were introduced after women began to enroll at the college because they were more appealing.

Research Strategy

My original search strategy included searching variations of “popularity of college majors men women” on Google, which is how I found most of the sources listed below. I made an appointment to meet with a librarian next week to receive some help searching Trinity data, and potentially accessing what I had looked at for the Trinity archives assignment, since the true focus of my paper is Trinity College. After my original search I did face a lot of trouble finding relative sources from the Trinity Online Resources website, so hopefully after I meet with a librarian, and/or meet with you, I will have a firmer grasp on how I should handle researching my proposed questions. I also plan on contacting some professors in the male-dominated fields, from both Trinity and all-female schools to try and get some interviews/information about their thoughts on co-education in the classroom and how it might deter either male or female students from certain subjects.


Finkel, Rachel. “Interdisciplinary Majors Gaining Popularity in College.” The Daily Pennsylvanian. 9 Feb. 2012. Web. 04 Apr. 2012. <>.

Gordreau, Jenna. “Most Popular College Majors for Women.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 10 Aug. 2010. Web. 03 Apr. 2012. <>.

Held, Elizabeth. “Are Single-sex Colleges Still Relevant? | USA TODAY College.”College. USA Today, 7 Oct. 2011. Web. 04 Apr. 2012. <>.

Lewin, Tamar. “At Colleges, Women Are Leaving Men in the Dust.” Education. The New York Times, 9 July 2006. Web. <>.

Marklein, Mary Beth. “Higher Education Stats Stir New Concerns in USA.” USA Today. Gannett, 6 Sept. 2006. Web. 04 Apr. 2012. <>.

Rampell, Catherine. “College Majors That Put Women on Equal Footing With Men.”Economix Blog. The New York Times, 15 Feb. 2012. Web. 04 Apr. 2012. <>.

“Top 10 College Majors.” Test Prep: GMAT, GRE, LSAT, MCAT, SAT, ACT, and More. Web. 04 Apr. 2012. <>.

Smart Boards Leaving Chalkboards in the Dust

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Title: Smart Boards Leaving Chalkboards in the Dust

Research Question: I would like to research how technology has changed what’s going on in classrooms in the United States from the 1950s to today. Particularly, I would like to focus on how and why chalkboards have been replaced by Smart Boards in the United States. In addition I would like to see how teachers and students feel about this. Has this transition improved learning, sparked interest for students, etc? I first thought about Smart Boards replacing chalkboards when I talked to my sister back in Brooklyn, New York. She is currently in her senior year of high school (she goes to a small, all girl, Catholic school). She was telling me how now most of the math teachers are using Smart Boards instead of chalk boards. When I left that school in 2010 I remember a few math teachers using Smart Boards.

Why? I think this is important to research about because we are living in an age where technology is taking over. I wanted to see how technology is doing in classrooms. I could have chosen computers, but I feel that I know less about chalkboards and Smart Boards. I want to become a math teacher and so it would be nice to know how the instruments teachers use are changing.

Research Strategy: I first went to the Trinity College Library homepage. Then I looked under Trinity Online Resources (TOR) and looked under Educational Studies. Then under the results, I looked under “News.” I then went to Lexis Nexis Academic and typed in “chalkboards and smartboards in secondary education” in the search box and looked under Newspapers.

I used Google for the rest of my search. I typed in things like:

Chalkboards and Smart Boards in the U.S.

From Chalkboards to Smart Boards

Books on chalkboards and white boards

History of chalkboards

History of Smart Boards

For the last 2 searches, “History of Chalkboards” and “History of Smart Boards” I went to the Wikipedia page, not with the intention of using Wikipedia as a source, but to look at what sources they cited. I then looked at ones I thought were appropriate.


“About Blackboards – Blackboard Technology and Chalkboard History Advances.” Ergo in Demand, n.d.

(This source talks about the history of chalk boards).

Baburajan, Rajani. “Education Technology News: U.S. the Largest Adopter of White Boards: Smart Technologies.”, July 20, 2009.

(This source shows an interview with Terry Wason, manager, CEE, Russia and India. This source talks about how Smart Boards are becoming very popular in the United States.)

Bader, Daniel. “From Chalk Boards to SMART Boards: Local Schools 2.0.” Http://, February 24, 2012.

(This source talks about how technology is being used in the classroom.)

“Georgia Pacific Newsroom – UPDATE: From Chalkboards to Smartboards.” Georgia-Pacific News, December 21, 2011.

(A generous donation was allowed for classrooms in Choctaw County to get Smart Boards. This source talks about how Smart Boards will help students.)

Kuster, Judith. “No More Chalkboards: Interactive Whiteboards.” American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA), August 30, 2011.

(This source talks about the benefits professors have in using Smart Boards).

Liebrecht, Deia. “West Area Gets Smart With Technology.”, November 27, 2007.

(This source talks about the benefits Smart Boards have for students.)

Manzo, Kathleen Kennedy. “Whiteboards’ Impact on Teaching Seen as Uneven.” Digital Directions, January 8, 2010.

(Advocates and a couple critics of Smart Boards talk about how they feel about them).

Miller, Patty. “LexisNexis® Academic & Library Solutions.” Lexis Nexis, December 20, 2010.

(This is source is about a public school’s transition to using Smart Boards. The procedures of making the change is talked about. The cost is talked about as well.)

Research proposal on changes in kindergarten

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Brigit Rioual

Question: In the United States, how has the curriculum and expectations of kindergartners changed since the early 1900s? Why have these changes occurred?

Relevance: My research question is relevant to Ed 300 because the changes in kindergarten are very important to education and education reform. I remember kindergarten being very much play and not very much work. I don’t ever remember having homework, but I do remember learning basic spelling words. However, today, kindergarten is much different than 15 years ago when I was there. Kindergarteners are now being pressured to learn more material than they typically would, so they are ready for standardized testing in a few years. I’m interested in looking at the original intentions of creating kindergarten and how and why kindergarten has went from being mostly play, to being mostly work.

Research Strategy: I first went to the Trinity library webpage and went to Trinity Online Resources. I then went to Educational Studies, and clicked on Educational Full-Text. I first searched changes in kindergarten, and got a couple of articles. I then searched kindergarten AND changes AND curriculum and got two other articles. One of my articles gave me the idea to look at play, so I then searched kindergarten AND play AND curriculum. I then tried history AND kindergarten. I also went through the Hartford Courant databases and looking at how kindergarten has developed and changed in Connecticut for some specific examples.

Primary Sources:

Kindergarten schools. (1878, Oct 05). Hartford Daily Courant (1840-1887), pp. 2-2.

This source discusses kindergarten in St. Louis and the advantages it would have to Connecticut.

The free kindergarten. (1884, Mar 31). Hartford Daily Courant (1840-1887), pp. 2-2.

The first meeting in Connecticut after a year of starting kindergarten discussing the positives and negatives.


Secondary Sources:

Russell, Jennifer Lin. “From Child’s Garden to Academic Press: The Role of Shifting Institutional Logics in Redefining Kindergarten Education.” American Educational Research Journal 48, no. 2 (April 2011): 236–267.

This source discusses how kindergarten has changed historically from once being a transition year to being an important beginning of formal academics. This is important to my question because it addresses the changes in what kindergarteners are expected and how the curriculum has changed.

Hatch, J. Amos, and Evelyn B. Freeman. “Who’s Pushing Whom? Stress and Kindergarten.” Phi Delta Kappan 70 (October 1988): 145–147.

This source is interesting because it discusses stress on kindergartens in the change from relaxed curriculum to a structured academic curriculum. There is a fear that children are being pushed too early by parents and by society. This article seems as if it will give me a different outlook on why kindergarten has changed based on a psychological view point but also give me some background information on why parents and society are pushing children so young.

Miller, Edward, and Joan Almon. “Crisis in the Kindergarten: Why Children Need to Play in School.”Education Digest 75, no. 1 (2009): 42–45.

This article proposes that kindergarten is in trouble because they are being pressured by tests in math and reading and children need to go back to being able to play. They discuss the trouble pressuring the children to preform well on tests at such a young age and propose ways to fix kindergarten. They discuss the before and now also.

Curwood, Jen Scott. “What Happened to Kindergarten?” Instructor 117, no. 1 (2007): 28-32.

This source discusses how kindergarten has changed based on academic pressures of the 21st century and what has caused this change from kindergarten being more relaxed. They argue that academic pressures have a negative effect on kindergarten and they state what teachers can do to help their students.

Plevyak, Linda H., and Kathy Morris. “Why Is Kindergarten an Endangered Species?” Education Digest 67, no. 7 (March 2002): 23–26.

This source examines kindergarten today, being very much academic based and less play. Too many hours are being spent doing math and reading than before. It also discusses the pressures this is putting on their children, and on themselves. This article proposes that educators need to have more information on the development of children in kindergarten to make changes to the curriculum of kindergarten.

Hardy, Lawrence. “Q & A with Edward Miller, on the Importance of Play”, November 2009.

This Q&A discusses traditional kindergarten to todays kindergarten and how this change happened.

Jeynes, William H. “Standardized Tests and Froebel’s Original Kindergarten Model.” Teachers College Record 108, no. 10 (October 2, 2006): 1937–1959.

This discusses policies and how kindergarten has changed through the last couple of years. This is much more history based. This article discusses the found of kindergarten, his model, and how that has changed and developed since then.

“Friedrich Froebel: Founder, First Kindergarten”, September 2000.

A biography on Friedrich Froebel and his intentions through the creation of kindergarten.

Nawrotzki, Kristen D. “‘Like Sending Coals to Newcastle:’ Impressions from and of the Anglo-American Kindergarten Movements.” Paedagogica Historica 43, no. 2 (April 2007): 223–233.

History of Kindergarten in the US and Britain

Dombkowski, Kristen. “Will the Real Kindergarten Please Stand up?: Defining and Redefining the Twentieth-century US Kindergarten.” History of Education 30, no. 6 (November 2001): 527–545.

History of kindergarten in the US.

Research Proposal Post

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Research Question: How have traditional male/female gender roles been portrayed in sex education curriculum materials over time?

Relevance: As we have seen in Ed300 as well as in news broadcasts over the years, sex education in public schools is a discussion surrounded by a lot of controversy.  I was inspired by the reactions of my classmates when looking at the Anaheim Union High School sex education curriculum from 1967 to tackle the understanding of what educators see as traditional gender roles, and how these roles are conveyed through sex education.  For example, in the Anaheim curriculum, the “Are You a Good Date (for girls)” survey makes statements such as: “how is your personal appearance” and “are you considerate”.  For boys, the survey questions are: “do you use a ‘line'” and “are you on time”.  These roles leave males in complete control of the dating situation, where females are only expected to respond and react to the male’s plans.  I am interested to see how over the years these curriculum assumptions of male and female gender roles change, or not.  Not only is sex education significant in what we are learning currently in class, but it has been, and will always be, a hot button issue in public school education, especially with a growing acceptance of different gender roles and gender identification in society.

Research Strategy: Since I struggled a bit with finding a topic that has a significant number of sources, and something that I am interested in, I began my researching by simply typing “sex education curriculum” into Google and into the WorldCat search database.  In the Trinity College Library there were many books pertaining to curriculum and sex education in more recent years (2000 and later), which will be helpful.  However, I would like to get curriculum examples from sex education classes in the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s as well so I can get a better sense of how curricula have changed over time.  From 1970, there is a book titled “Sex education in the schools; a study of objectives, content, methods, materials, and evaluation”, which is available at both the University of Hartford and UConn, and I will ask a librarian to help me obtain because it is from the early 70’s and maps the sex education curriculum with chapters such as “The Vocabulary for Sex Education”, and “Myths About Sex”.

I have also used the Trinity library search website to find various articles on the subject of sex education and traditional gender roles.  An example of an article that I found with the search words “sex education” and “curriculum” in the Education Full Text Database is a 2012 article in Education Week is called “New Standards Aim to Guide Sex Education”.  I will try using keywords like “health education” instead of sex education, to see what kinds of different results are found.  Articles like the one above, along with many others, will be useful to provide a basis on which new sex education strategies are being made to support the changing ideas of gender roles in today’s society.

My final research strategy will be to ask librarians for even more sources after discussing obtaining books from other libraries via Inter Library Loan, as well as possibly using an interview from Professor Janet Bauer here at Trinity College.  She is an expert on discussing sex in public school classrooms, as well as society’s understanding of gender roles throughout history.  Her insight could bring a completely new understanding of my topic to my paper, as well as maybe even provide some insight into the future teaching of sex education in schools without emphasizing traditional gender roles on young males and females.

Looking Ahead: To ensure that I don’t get my topic confused and I stay focused on looking at how traditional gender roles are portrayed in sex education over the years, I need to make sure that as I am sifting through curricula throughout the U.S., that I am staying focused on searching for bits and pieces like in the Anaheim example, when women are clearly thrust into the woman role of making sure you look good for the man asking you out on a date.  By staying focused on areas of the curriculum like this, I will not lose touch with what my research question is actually asking.


  1. Donohoe, Holly, Michael Stellefson, and Bethany Tennant. “Advantages and Limitations of the e-Delphi Technique: Implications for Health Education Researchers.” American Journal of Health Education 43, no. 1 (February 2012): 38–55.
  2. Glanzer, Perry L. “Disestablishing Sex.” Phi Delta Kappan 93, no. 1 (2011): 59–61.
  3. Anaheim Union High School. “Family Life and Sex Education Course Outline: Grades Seven Through Twelve”. Anaheim Union High School District, June 1967.
  4. Schulz, Esther D. Family Life and Sex Education: Curriculum and Instruction. New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1969.
  5. Dinesh, D’Souza. Illiberal Education: The Politics of Race and Sex on Campus. New York City: New York Free Press, 1991.
  6. Shah, Nirvi. “New Standards Aim to Guide Sex Education.” Education Week 31, no. 17 (January 18, 2012): 1–13.
  7. Walcott, Christy M, Tiffany Chenneville, and Sarah Tarquini. “Relationship Between Recall of Sex Education and College Students’ Sexual Attitudes and Behavior.” Psychology in the Schools 48, no. 8 (September 1, 2011): 828–842.
  8. Kilander, Holger, Frederick. Sex Education in the Schools; a Study of Objectives, Content, Methods, Materials, and Evaluation. New York: Macmillan, 1970.

George Phillips- Research Paper Proposal

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  • Given the growing number of school choice and voucher programs being implemented in the public school system, and how they impact religious academies, it is important to explore the changes in legal reasoning that have increased the legality and feasibility of appropriating governmental monies to programs of school choice that include religious schools.  The question this paper will explore deals explicitly with Supreme Court decisions in the 20th century related to religious academies, school choice/voucher programs and the changing scope of the 1st Amendment’s Establishment Clause.
  • How and why did the Supreme Court doctrine change with regard to school choice and voucher programs and religious schools from its decision in Everson v. Board of Education (1947) to its recent ruling in Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization v. Winn (2011)


As the nature of the public school system is rapidly changing in the 21st century, school     choice plans have become more and more commonplace.  These programs naturally impact those religious academies (predominantly being Catholic schools) that served as the traditional counterpart to the public school system, and the Court has articulated a series of changing arguments with regard to how the government can and cannot aid religious academies.  From its initial ruling in Everson, the court has held that Ewing, NJ’s use of township monies to compensate the transportation costs for parents who send their kids to religious academies did not constitute a violation of the Establishment Clause.  The opinion of the court, written by Justice Hugo Black, incorporated the Establishment Clause to the states and used Thomas Jefferson’s metaphor of a “wall of separation between church and state” to guide future cases concerning government establishment of religion.  Black believed that the government had a compelling interest in using taxpayer monies to provide fire and police protection, sewer lines and other services to religious organizations and schools, and that remunerating student transportation costs served the interest of student safety and was analogous to the aforementioned programs.  The dissent in the case, written by Justice Robert Jackson, believed that the program itself did not pass Black’s own “wall of separation” standard.  Justice Rutledge’s separate dissent stated famously that “Certainly the fire department must not stand idly by while the church burns. Nor is this reason why the state should pay the expense of transportation or other items of the cost of religious education.”  The case was decided by a divisive 5-4 vote, and the dissents proved to be more influential in later cases like Lemon v. Kurtzman and Flast v. Cohen.  These cases struck down programs that assisted religious institutions as violations of the Establishment Clause, and the tests prescribed by each case were dominant court doctrine in their time.

In the 21st century however, as the Court’s demographic shifted profoundly to the legal right, and as school choice and voucher programs were revived as a means of ameliorating the nation’s schools, the Court has upheld the constitutionality of voucher programs providing assistance to religious academies through three landmark cases.  The first, Mitchell v. Helms (2000), upheld a program that gave material assistance to religious academies so long as they did not aid those teachers and those classes that centered on religious teaching.  The second, Zellman v. Simmons-Harris (2002) concerns the Cleveland voucher program, and the court ruled 6-3 that a voucher program allowing government monies to find its way to religious institutions did not constitute an establishment of religion because it was a program of “pure private choice”, to use the words of Chief Justice Rehnquist.  Recently, the court has increased the burden of proof required for citizens in areas that implement voucher programs through its decision in Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization v. Winn (2011) by stating that tax credits to citizens that reach religious institutions (even if they had the specific intent of doing so, as was the case in Arizona) did not give taxpayers the legal standing to sue challenging the program’s constitutionality.  Clearly, the court has returned to the philosophy of Justice Black’s decision in Everson, abandoning its decisions in Lemon and Flast in the process.  By carefully examining the facts of each case, the oral arguments presented to the court and the decisions of the Justices themselves, the evolution of the legal narrative regarding voucher programs, religious institutions and the Establishment Clause will be given an exhaustive review and critique.

As voucher programs and school choice have come to dominate discussions of Educational Policy in the 21st century, the changing legal perspective with regard to these programs can be traced to both the changing demographic of the Court’s membership and their insistence on increased deference to said programs.  As public schooling problems continue to dominate policy foci at all levels of government, the court appears to be giving tremendous leeway to policymakers when it comes to these programs because of the potential for positive changes in public schooling.  After all, if religious academies, which traditionally have admirably and effectively taught minority students in poor urban areas for quite some time, are suffering in the charter school era (and Diane Ravitch would certainly agree with both points), then the Court’s deferring to said programs would widen the possibilities for voucher and school choice programs and would have ameliorative effects on educational policy.  The metaphorical balancing the court must perform in these cases however, concerns weighing the potential educational and choice benefits of said programs, and potential infringements of the Establishment Clause.  As the outcome of this balancing act shifts towards policymakers at an increasing rate in the 21st century, tracing the changes in legal reasoning serves to elucidate how voucher programs and school choice have increased in quality and quantity.


  • The vast majority of the sources will be the full and complete decisions of the Justices in each case, all of which can be found through a simple Google search of the case name with the word “Cornell” attached to it.  Cornell University Law School’s Legal Information Institute has full digital copies of every Supreme Court decision.  Since Supreme Court decisions are government documents, they have their own special citation.  A sample citation for Everson is given below.  This citation is only used when referencing the opinion of the court, which would be Justice Black’s for Everson.  The syllabus, or a statement of the facts, is at the beginning of any Supreme Court decision, and is cited the same as the opinion of the court.
    • Everson v. Board of Education of Ewing, NJ 330 U.S. 1, 52 (1947)
  • Each case has separate opinions, so the specific opinions referenced within each case must be cited additionally, a sample for Justice Rutledge’s dissenting opinion in Everson is given below
    • Everson v. Board of Education of Ewing, NJ 330 U.S. 1, 52 (1947) (Rutledge, J. with Frankfurter, J., Jackson, J. & Burton, J., dissenting)
  • I will also use an article from the Yale Law Journal written by Martha Minow in 2011 about the Supreme Court and its changing view towards programs of school choice.  It give a historical overview of the concept of school choice and how it relates to past and present constitutional challenges mounted against said programs.  The citation is as follows.
    • Minow, Martha. “Confronting the Seduction of Choice: Law, Education, and American Pluralism.” Yale Law Journal 120 (2011): 814-48. The Yale Law Journal Online. Yale University, Jan. 2011. Web. 2 Apr. 2012. <,education,-and-american-pluralism/>.

Homeschooling in the US

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Research Question: What factors have caused an increase in elementary and secondary level homeschooling in the United States from 1970 to today, and why has this practice become more appealing to students of various intellectual abilities, artistic talents, and religious beliefs?

Significance: Homeschooling in the United States is estimated to be at approximately 2 million students today. While this is a small percentage (~2 %) of the total estimated 86,000,000 students in the country, it is still a significant number of people, and that number is increasing 7-15% each year. The average cost per student in the public schools is about $10,000 per year, while for homeschooling done within the family, the cost is much lower. The move toward homeschooling started here around 1970, so it is a fairly recent alternative to conventional education.

There are several reasons that people choose homeschooling. One is the desire to include religious content in the curriculum. Another is dissatisfaction with the public school system, both in environment (safety, including violence and drug use) and results (comparison with other countries in literacy and math/science skills). Still another reason is to accommodate special needs children, or exceptionally bright children.

Research Strategy:  My intent is to examine these factors as to their relative importance, and gather data on the effectiveness of the homeschooling process vs. the existing public school system. I will attempt to determine which groups are most active in homeschooling (socioeconomic group, ethnicity, gender, religious affiliation, etc). I will also look for measures of effectiveness, such as test scores, comparison rankings against other countries in literacy, knowledge of history, and math and science skills. Other possible measures of success might be employment percentages, salary levels, marriage stability, criminal records, and continuing religious participation if these data are available. Also included will be a discussion of how modern technology (computers and the internet) has contributed to homeschooling. I will address some of the possible disadvantages, such as the cost and time commitment involving the family, and dealing with the need for peer group social interaction. I will check federal and state laws regarding homeschooling requirements, such as the courses required, curriculum content, examination requirements, and hours and days per year. I will look into the places from which one can buy course materials. I will look into situations with parents teaching their own children, the use of online courses, and the use of hired tutors.

My research will include scholarly sources and a personal interview. A brief literature search turned up significant material on the subject, ranging from articles by professionals in the field to users of the products. Also several institutional sources were found, including the National Center for Education Statistics.

Primary Sources: I will contact the Stanford University online high school homeschooling program, which is a program for academically superior students. I will also interview one person who has a young child who is currently taking part in homeschooling. The person I will interview is a family member with an autistic child.

Secondary Sources: I will include JStore, from the Trinity College website, Google Scholar, and several scholarly sources found through Google. I also plan to use WorldCat to order some books through the Trinity Library, and will speak with a Librarian for additional sources if needed.

Reason for doing this research: Many people do not know much about homeschooling, and may even have misconceptions about it. Homeschooling is a growing phenomenon in the United States. I am doing this research because public schools, and often private schools, are unable to meet the needs of certain students. This research will provide a better understanding of the educational needs of this group and how homeschooling meets these needs. It is important for US citizens to understand their educational options and this is one worth considering for many.

With more understanding of homeschooling, more positive cooperative programs with public schools might be put in place to accommodate the homeschoolers. This way, the homeschoolers can still partake in certain public school courses or activities.


1.Lyman, Elizabeth  “Homeschooling: Back to the Future” Cato Institute – Cato Policy Analysis No. 924.  January 7, 1998

2.     Romanowski, M. H. (2001). Common Arguments about the Strengths and Limitations of Home Schooling. The Clearing House, 75(2), 79-83.

3.     Nemer, M. Kariane. “Undergraduate ERducation: Toward Building A Homeschooling Research Agenda.” 2002.

4.     Gaither, M. (2008). Why Homeschooling Happened. Educational Horizons, 86(4), 226-237.

5.    Pearson, R. C. (1996). Homeschooling: What Educators Should Know. Retrieved from

6.     Knowles, J. G., Marlow, S. E., & Muchmore, J. A. (1992). From Pedagogy to Ideology: Origins and Phases of Home Education in the United States, 1970-1990. American Journal of Education, 100(2), 195-235.

7.     HSLDA | Home School Research. (n.d.). Retrieved April 4, 2012, from

8.  National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Home Page, part of the U.S. Department of Education. (n.d.). Retrieved April 4, 2012, from

9.    Nichols, J. (2005). Music Education in Homeschooling: A Preliminary Inquiry. Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, (166), 27-42.

10. Farris, M. P., & Woodruff, S. A. (2000). The Future of Home Schooling. Peabody Journal of Education, 75(1/2), 233-255.