Fresh ideas are hard to come by, because as soon as one is written down it is likely that someone is already writing it. But there are some topic that can be made fresh, over and over again, as the academic years pass. This is due to the fact that the state of education and the needs of education are never fixed, but alter as society and technology, and the economy develops. So, which topics can be made fresh and given new appeal? Here are a few:
In a world that is becoming ever more saturated with graduates, and unemployed graduates, there is a real impetus to reduce the reliance and the dependency on academic qualifications and to begin focusing on vocational qualifications. A discussion of how this could work would make for an interesting paper.
Now, more than has been the case for a very long time, the issue of religious education and single religion schools is a news worthy subject. A paper that discussed the costs and benefits of having religious schools, secular schools, and mixed schools would make a fascinating subject.
One of the perennially hot topics of education studies is the education of children: what kinds of things should our children be taught? How should they be taught? Should there be exams and tests for children? These questions are always interesting.
Another question that needs constant reassessment is the idea of a national curriculum. In a time in which states are devolving power to local government, is it still appropriate to have the education of all children determined nationally, from one government? Different areas have different needs, so should they be allowed to decide what their children need?
A contentious area of education studies is the area of mixed education for students who have learning disabilities. Some feel that their should be specialist schools for students with these issues, as they can then receive specialist attention form trained staff. Others feel that all should be educated together, to avoid segregation. A well-researched engagement with this could be a very interesting subject.
There are no real ‘new’ topics in any field, but the above list of topics could, if engaged with in an interesting and scholarly way, allow for an enlightening paper.
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