What does a “Proposal for Project” look like? In college, before you submit the proposal for your thesis, you would have already done the research to show what others have found regarding your topic, what are the key theories and findings in the field, and what they key questions in the area seem to be. You would then choose your question for focus that examines a new area or challenges current research. Then you develop your tactics. That would be submitted for approval. Your research would be questioned. Your question would be attacked. Your methods would be questioned. And after a number of revisions, you would now do your new research and create your new project. This will be a smaller version of that. But… Does your proposal answer these questions: What is your policy area of focus (from the list created in class)? Remember these are big picture areas to allow you to find the smaller issues within that area. WHY did you choose this policy area for your focus? How do you propose following current events in this area? What will your primary sources be? The Washington Post should be a given. What other media outlets (2-3) will you rely on for information? What other outlets will you rely on specific to your area (ie. The National Education Association will track educational policy discussions on their web page)? Look at the Chapters in the book (7,8,9-10,11,12,13,14,15,16 would be key!) and determine what you think the key questions will be that allow you to connect your policy arena to the topics in class. An example would be that in order to connect Educational policy to the parties, you would want to know what the party platforms are regarding issues in education. What divides the party on the issue? Do any 3rd parties have a significant stake in the issue? What tactics do they use to impact policy in this area? Similar questions will be asked of each unit. What is your vehicle to share your findings to the world – or at least each other? Please remember that you are sharing the policy area, but also how it connects to each unit and sub-unit of the course. Blogs, Wikis, Digital Storytelling are options. Maybe you have something better. What deadlines are you establishing so that this is an on-going project rather than a last minute “oh no” project? What responsibilities will partners have if this is a group project? How will you (and I) know that you have succeeded in carrying out your objectives? I will be looking to see if in May you have met your project proposal’s goals. If you propose something that becomes unusable or too much, then resubmit a proposal. Some are using this to try technology, too. One group has said that they will do at least one podcast and one digital storytelling “thing” and link the world to them (and everything else they are doing) through their blog. If you use a social networking tool (Facebook or My Space), I must have access to see what you are doing.
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