Independent Research Project

Independent Research Projects

Candidates can expect to begin identifying and slowly refining questions about the content they are teaching, the institutions where they teach, or the social contexts shaping their students' learning. These questions form the basis for the Independent Research Project (IRP)  whereby candidates identify an area of concentration, confirm a faculty advisor, and initiate, research, and write their thesis.

Topics for IRP projects can be wide ranging but generally address three main themes:
         1)     Subject matter topics
         2)     Study of educational institutions
         3)     Social, historical, political contexts of education

Regardless of this approach, candidates must choose topics and pursue research that draws from concurrent coursework in the Humanities and Ethnic Studies, ongoing meetings with their thesis advisor, community education electives. This advisory process insures that candidates propose projects with appropriate scope, requisite resources, and sufficient faculty support.

Approved topics can build on the candidate’s disciplinary strengths but must also incorporate interdisciplinary themes, research, and methods emerging from the seminars and advisory.  As such, candidates are required to address the implications of their research in relation to their own students and in recognition of the ways identity, race, social class, gender, and citizenship shape teaching and learning in Los Angeles public schools.

Project Timeline

Pre-IRP Proposal Research  Writing
-- Identify tentative topic and refine questions
-- Meet potential faculty advisors
-- Confirm advisor assignment
-- Present thesis proposal
-- Conduct research
-- Meet regularly with advisor
-- Continue advisory meetings
-- Complete thesis writing
-- Present final IRP