Course Project- Research Proposal

The research proposal will present the topic you have selected for your Course Project. The purpose of the proposal is to persuade your reader to believe that you are interested in the topic and ready to learn how to develop the topic into a project. The format of the proposal is a sentence outline. Use APA style to document any sources referenced in your proposal. When you are finished, save the document as your last name.Wk3 Proposal Assignment> and submit it to the Dropbox by the end of the week.

The Proposal is worth 50 points. See Doc Sharing for the following support documents.

Week 3 APA Module Assignment

For this assignment, you will review materials in the DeVry library to help gain a better understanding of APA citations.

  1. Click
  2. Listen to the tutorial or download and review the transcript on APA and answer the questions below

After reviewing the presentation, compose a 2-paragraph response in which you address each of the following points:

  1. Why is APA style used to document ideas in writing? What is the purpose of the in-text citation? Demonstrate your understanding of the in-text citation by providing an in-text citation for the article you summarized for the week 2 assignment. (15 points)
  2. In the article that you summarized in week 2, you may have found some information that you want to quote directly. To demonstrate the process for citing a direct quote, provide an example of properly quoted material. (20 points)


Proposal Pitch for Standardized Tests

Sammy North

DeVry University

Proposal for Standardized Tests

I. Introduction

A. Topic

1) Research question: Have standardizedtests in the United States improved schools or demonstrated stronger studentlearning achievement?

2) Workingthesis: Standardized tests in the United States have not improved schools andshould be abolished and replaced with end-of-year subject tests because they willsave time and money, lead to increased mastery of core subjects, and diminishdropout rates.

3) Angle: Standardized testing has made thegap between developed nations and the United States wider. Taxpayers andemployers are paying the price of poorly educated graduates. No Child LeftBehind has left nobody ahead, least of all our country’s educational standingamong other developed nations.

B. Context

1) Issues in education are in the newsbecause budget cuts and school closures are tied to student performance onstandardized tests.

2) ThoughI am a novice scholar, I am a parent and care deeply about education. I will referto the expertise of several sources that will establish my credibilityregarding standardized tests. The ideas of Hillocks (2002), McNeil andValenzuela (2001), and Ravitch (2011), who are all experts on this topic, willhelp to establish my credibility.

C. Audience

1) Myprimary audience will be educational stakeholders who are teachers, parents, oradministrators.

2) My secondary audience is my professorand fellow classmates, some of whom may have experienced standardized tests orhave school-aged children and will relate to the topic.

3) Myaudience shares my opinions and values and will likely be on my side.

II. Evidence

A.Research collected so far

I have found supportfor the recommendation to remove poorly designed tests that don’t measure whatthey should. Federal mandates such as No Child Left Behind have spurred theirgrowth and the reward-and-punishment system that serves nobody well, least ofall the people these tests were intended to help: students.

B.Research to be collected

I will look foradditional facts and statistics to demonstrate the gap between other nationsand the United States. I will also look for experts who agree that there areimplications for taxpayers and employers to show that the issues of schoolsaffect the public at large. Finally, I will represent the opposing viewpointand others who have suggested alternatives to standardized tests, including notesting at all. Yearly subject tests are better than other alternaterecommendations that have been proposed, such as portfolios, because thesetests would be objective determinants of learning rather than subject artifactsof courses.

III. Conclusion

I propose that end-of-yearsubject tests will be successful in raising the standards and expectations ofour students while decentralizing control of students’ learning away from thegovernment and politicians and in the control of teachers who know theirstudents best. This solution is also better than having no assessmentswhatsoever, as that is unrealistic and does not prepare students for highereducation or the workplace. The benefits of yearly subject tests include the timeand money that will be saved by switching to end-of year subject tests; thecollective energy of stakeholders in education—students, parents, teachers,administrators, and the public—will also be put to better use. I will developmy project to support these claims with research.

IV. References

Hillocks, G. (2002). The testing trap. New York, NY: TeachersCollege Press.

McNeil,L., & Valenzuela, A. (2001). The harmful impact of the TAAS system oftesting in Texas. In G. Ornfield & M. Kornhaber (Eds.), Raising standards or raising barriers?(pp. 127–150). New York, NY: Century Foundation.


Your Course Project Title Goes Here

First Last Name

Name of University

Your Course Project Title Goes Here

The purpose of a proposal is to highlight standout ideas, and to do so in a manner that can convince an audience to support a project. Proposals delivered in a workplace are often part of a competitive process in which the strongest proposal is offered the business. In these contexts, effective word choice and professional delivery define the effective communication of an idea. Your research proposal will be presented as a sentence outline. As the name suggests, the sentence outline presents complete thoughts in complete sentences as opposed to phrases. In each section of the proposal, choose ideas with the goal of persuading your reader to believe that you are interested in the topic and ready to learn how to develop the topic into a project. Use a complete sentence to provide the response to each of the questions below. You can use first person. Use APA documentation for the final section of the proposal to document any sources referenced in your proposal. Remember to put at least two items at any given level of the outline, as shown in this template and the sample proposal.

II. Evidence

References (must be correctly formatted according to


Bullying inschools: why it happens, how it makes young people feel and what we cando about it Jeremy Sidea* and Kelley Johnsonb

aEducationalPsychologist, Inclusion Services, Monkton Park, Winterborne Monkton,Dorchester, UK; bDirector of the Social Policy Research Centre,University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

In spite ofdecades of research and more recent guidance by Government, bullying inschools remains a serious concern to young people and to educationalpractitioners. This two year qualitative study explored the meaningseight teenagers gave to bullying they had experienced, and related thisto an analysis of previous research and school policies about bullying.The findings from the study revealed that bullying affected thesubjectivity of young people, including how they positioned themselvesand believed themselves to be positioned by others. It also foundprevious research and school policies focused on the behavioural aspectsof bullying, neglecting the subjective meanings that it had for thosewho experienced it. The research findings suggested that a more openapproach by adults to what bullying means to individuals, and clearerguidance to teachers on how to work with them about subjective meanings,may provide a new direction in supporting young people who have beenbullied. Keywords: understanding bullying; bullying in schools; Foucault

IntroductionBullying in schools is an issue which, in spite of a strong body ofresearch literature, and government guidance designed to reducebullying, continues to affect an estimated 50–80% of young people(Department for Children Schools and Families, Special EducationalNeeds, 2010; Oliver & Candappa, 2003). Approximately 16 childreneach year in the UK commit suicide as a result of being bullied (Marr& Field, 2001). The serious nature of this problem has beenrecognised through a raft of national government strategies (Direct GovParents, 2010; Secondary SEAL, 2010) and non-government interventions(Beatbullying, 2010; Childline, 2010; Kidscape, 2010). Guidance andinterventions have, in part, been informed by research which has soughtto define bullying and to identify its effects on young people who haveexperienced it. To some extent definitions of bullying remain contested.For example, while most definitions stress the importance of therepetition of “hurtful” behaviours as a primary characteristic ofbullying (Department for Children Schools and Families, 2007), othersstress the importance of a power differential between those who bullyand those who experience bullying (Baldry, 2003; Rigby, 1996; Woods& Wolke, 2004). Bullying has been characterised by a range ofbehaviours including

*Corresponding author. Email:

© 2014 Association of Educational Psychologists

Educational Psychology in Practice, 2014 Vol. 30, No. 3, 217–231,

physicalaggression, verbal abuse, cyber attacks and social rejection. In thispaper the following working definition of bullying is used:

Behaviourby an individual or group, usually repeated over time, thatintentionally hurts another individual or group either physically oremotionally. However, schools will wish to involve the whole schoolcommunity in agreeing the definition of bullying that will be used intheir own anti-bullying or behaviour policy … (Department for ChildrenSchools and Families, 2007 summary) The authors are not uncritical ofthis definition but nonetheless have used it as a starting point becauseit is part of current government guidance to schools and therefore islikely to be the one most commonly used in school policies in relationto bullying. Much of the government guidance relies on the results ofresearch undertaken to better understand bullying. Such research hasrevealed that those who are bullied are more likely than theirnon-bullied peers to: have difficulties in achieving academic success(Beran, Hughes, & Lupart, 2008), experience depression and anxiety(Peskin, Tortolero, Markham, Addy, & Baumler, 2007 see also Campell& Morrison, 2007), have suicidal feelings (Klomek et al., 2008) orchronic stress (Newman, Holden, & Delville, 2005 see also Dao etal., 2006) and experience physical symptoms of sleeplessness andhelplessness (Due et al., 2005). While there is a growing body ofresearch in relation to bullying there is little that focuses on thesubjective meanings it has for young people who experience it (Hepburn,1997). In spite of extensive research which has added to anunderstanding of the nature of bullying and its effects, bullyingcontinues. The research reported in this paper sought to explore ifthere were other ways of understanding bullying which may provide newways of managing it or supporting young people more effectively. Theapproach taken in the research was a discursive analysis drawing onFoucault’s work (Foucault, 1977, 1978, see also Rose, 1990) whichallowed for a deconstruction of how bullying was constituted byresearch, school policy and by young people who had experienced it.Discourse is a contested but central part of Foucault’s ideas (seeAlvesson, 2002; Gee, 2008; Potter & Wetherell, 2007; Weedon, 1987).In this paper discourse is defined in the following way:

…discourses specify truth as it is known at any particular time inhistory … they are concerned with the exercise of power in relation tothe subjects which they constitute … discourses constitute and revealthe subjectivity of the people with whom they are concerned … discoursesthemselves are subject to change and challenge … (Johnson, 1998, p. 15)Discourses can be seen as combinations of knowledge and their use inpractice through the exercise of power. Within the context of bullying,discourses are bodies of knowledge which construct bullying as acultural object. They prescribe the ways in which it is understood andhow it is managed in practice. They also focus on the way in whichpeople are subject to power and knowledge and how they are positioned inrelation to others (Henriques, Holloway, Urwin, Venn, & Walkerdine,1998; Hollway, 1994; Kendall & Wickham, 2003).

218 J. Side and K. Johnson

MethodResearch questions The research questions used in this study were: Howdoes previous research construct the subject of bullying? How far doespolicy and practice in schools address the subjective experience ofbullying? What meanings do young people who have been bullied give tothe experience? How does bullying affect the way young people positionthemselves in relation to others?

Design This research was aqualitative study using semi-structured interviews, and a literature andschool anti-bullying policy analysis. A discursive approach was takento identify existing discourses in relation to bullying. The policy andliterature analyses were then considered in relation to discourses andmeanings ascribed to bullying by eight young people who participated inthe study.

Literature review A literature search was carried outto identify research studies undertaken over the last 15 years. Itincluded both qualitative and quantitative studies relating to bullyingin general, and bullying in schools in particular, in both the UK andinternationally. The resulting 42 studies were then critically examinedusing the following questions: What is the meaning(s) given to bullyingby these studies? What knowledge does it create? How are those whoare bullied positioned by this knowledge?

School anti-bullyingpolicy analysis An analysis of government guidance to schools inrelation to bullying, and school policies on bullying from the threeschools included in the study, was conducted. The following questionswere used as a guide: What is the intention of the policy? How is itsposition justified? How clearly defined are the objectives? Who is seenas the subject of the policy? Who is the audience of the policy? Whatis missing from the policies? What is the meaning conveyed by thepolicies? How are those bullied positioned by the message in thepolicy?

Educational Psychology in Practice 219

Thisanalysis was undertaken after the first interview with participants, andeach participant was asked their views on the policy relevant to theirschool. Questions guiding this discussion were: Did you know about thispolicy? Were you involved in writing it? Did you use it or was ithelpful in gaining support when you were bullied? Were the actionslisted in the policy carried out when you were bullied? What else doyou think should be included in the policy?

Interviews Aninterview guide was developed as a basis for the first of twosemi-structured recorded interviews with participants. The guideincluded contextual questions such as age and family circumstances, aswell as questions relating to their interests and feelings about school.These were followed by questions which focussed particularly onbullying as a subjective experience. This part of the interview was ledprimarily by participants but included questions about the nature of thebullying experience, how the participant felt about each part of thebullying they experienced, what they did about seeking support and howthey felt about the support they sought. The interviews also includedquestions about what support the participants would have liked to havereceived. There were opportunities throughout the interview for theyoung person to introduce issues which they thought were important. Thesensitivity of the issue of bullying was recognised by the researcherand self disclosure, time out of the interview situation and theidentification of a trusted other person to whom the young person couldgo for additional support were included in the interviews. Interviewswere administered on

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