ICL 7992 - Master’s Project
Types and Sources of Professional Education Knowledge
Professional knowledge required for
developing a Master’s project action research study
You will need three different types of professional knowledge to make a good plan for
the specific actions you will take to make your work better. These three types of information
are interrelated and more than one type of information may be found in the same source.
1. PEOPLE: Information about the characteristics of the other people involved in your
>developmental characteristics (for example, what do I know about 5th graders and
writing? High school students and role playing? etc.)
>social/cultural characteristics (for example, what do I know about low socio-
economic parents? About non-native speakers of English, About male African-
American adolescents? etc.)
2. STRATEGY: Information about the strategy you plan to implement in order to
accomplish the goals of your project. (for example, cooperative learning, a reading center,
responding to misbehavior, in-school-suspension classes, etc.)
3. CONTENT: Information related to the content goals of your project. (for example,
Kindergarten writing, high school Spanish conversation, 7th grade library skills, 5th grade
Types of sources for professional knowledge
1. Standards, goals, and objectives for practice For example: What are Memphis or
Shelby County School standards for 3rd grade writing? What are Tennessee standards for
high school Spanish? What are the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics standards
for number sense in the kindergarten? etc. Professional education knowledge about
standards is often found on internet websites, in published books, unpublished local
curriculum guides, and in professional journals.
2. Reports and descriptions of best practices For example: What does our profession
hold up as good examples of using role playing to help high school English students
understand Shakespeare? What are good examples of how other teachers have adapted to
having a child in a wheelchair in the classroom? etc. Descriptions of best teaching practices
are often found in books, professional journals and magazines, professional conferences, and
on selected internet websites.
3. Research For example: What do research studies tell us about the effect of using
cooperative learning strategies on affective student outcomes? What do research findings say
about early childhood classroom environmental features that stimulate reading and writing?
etc. Research studies on professional education are most often found in professional
journals, books and on-line data bases (e.g., ERIC).
4. Theories of human development For example: What does developmental theory tell us
about the social development of junior high students? What do literacy theories tell us about
the development of conventional spelling in young children? etc. And, Theories of
instruction and learning For example: What does learning theory tell us about providing
choices to students and learning in the primary grades? How does theory help us
understand why social interaction and problem solving work well together in middle school?