This is a list of graduate student papers that were conducted using action research techniques.

Fall 2013

Title of the Paper
Research Question(s)
Paper: "Developing Basic Fact Fluency Through Guided Strategy-Based Instruction to Lessen Student Anxiety"
1.) What are the effects of fact drill on students’ feelings towards mathematics?
Paper: "Fraction Instruction: Comparison of NYS Learning Standards and the Common Core Learning Standards"
1.) What are the similarities and differences between the current NYS Common Core Learning Standards in Mathematics and the NYS Learning Standards that were used in 2005, focusing primarily on Grade 4 Fractions?
Paper: Gamification in Education: An Analysis of the Connection Between Gamified Instruction and Motivation Toward Learning Objectives
1. ) Does there exist a correlation between gamified instruction and students’ motivation toward learning? and if so, what is the correlation?
Social Media
Paper: Instagram as a Form of Instant Communication for Students
1.) How do children use Instagram to communicate with one another?
2.) How do children feel about the ways in which Instagram is used?
Paper: Discovering What Kind of Books Motivate Us to Read and Write
1.) What characteristics do I consider good writers possess?
Paper: Examining the Effects of Using a Formative Assessment Tool called an “Exit Ticket”
1.) What are the effects, if any, of using a formative assessment tool called an “exit ticket”?

Summer 2013

Title of the Paper and/or Presentation
Research Question(s)
Abstract: This paper examined how an individual with limited verbal skills used text messaging to communicate with members of his family. This study was important to the field of special education because the use of text messaging has the potential to be a new form of assistive technology for students who have limited verbal skills. Data was collected from two participant's archived text messages. The findings showed that a person with limited verbal skills can use text messaging 1.) to tell another person something; 2) to convey emotion or feelings; 3) to ask a question or make a request; 4) to check in with another, and 5) to respond to direct questions or requests.

Paper: "Text Messaging as a Form of Communication for One Individual with Limited Verbal Skills"


1.) In what ways does Tom, my brother with limited verbal skills, use text messaging to communicate?
ELA/Social Justice
Abstract: This paper examined how teachers implement or would implement a unit on families within their classroom. Would their implementation cover diverse family structures, and more specifically, cover the topic of same-sex couples. This study was important to the field of education because students come from diverse family structures. Data was collected from four participants who were pre-, post-, or current teachers within the elementary education field and fourteen graduate students. Findings revealed that most participants thought families consisted of a mom, dad and children; the teacher-participants believed they had a professional responsibility to teach about diverse family structure despite moral beliefs about the controversial topic of same-sex couples; and that the word diversity masked the controversy of teaching about same-sex families.

Paper: "Teacher Ideologies on implementing Diverse Family Structure of Same-Sex Couples into The Elementary Curriculum: Provoking Critical Thinking or Masking The Controversy?"


1.) What are teachers’ existing ideologies of inclusion of controversial topics within the elementary classroom?
  • a.) Do teachers feel controversial topics should be included within the elementary classroom? Why or why not?
  • b.) If so, how would they include this material into the classroom?

2.) What are the benefits and limitations of teaching the controversial topic of diverse family structure of same-sex couples with thought provoking literature to children within the elementary classroom?
3.) Do teachers feel that same-sex families should be included within classroom units discussing family structure and family diversity and how would they implement it or why do they chose not to implement it?
Abstract: This paper examined the scientific explanations and understandings for day and night. This study was important to the field of education because understanding students' common science conceptions can help a teacher to be mindful in their planning. Data was collected from eight elementary-aged students who ranged in age from 6 - 11 years. The results showed that all the participants had misconceptions about the phenomenon of day and night; the older students exhibited more abstract thinking in their explanations for how day turns into night than the younger students; and the participants were able to express their thinking about day and night better through pictures than through a written response.

Paper: "Reexamining Science Misconceptions and What we Assumed Our Students Understood: Elementary Students’ Scientific Explanations for Why Day Turns Into Night"


1.) What do elementary students know about the reasons for day and night?
Paper: "A Science Lesson Plan Analysis Using the Essential Skills of Inquiry "
1.) What essential abilities to do inquiry, if any, did I include in my Science lesson?
Paper: "Hip-Hop in Elementary Schools: Are We Really Listening Teachers? "
1. What are the attitudes of teachers towards hip-hop music in the classroom?
2. What are the reasons that hip-hop music is not utilized in current classrooms?
3. What academic role does hip-hop music have in the elementary school setting?
Paper: "Mathematical Behaviors Found in Early Childhood Play"
1.) In what ways, if any, do 3 and 4 year students demonstrate mathematical behaviors while they are playing?

Spring 2013

Paper: "A Glimpse into Reading Motivation: Why Doesn’t a Third-Grade Student Want to Read?"
1.) Why doesn’t Kayla read outside of school?
2.) What influences, if any, does Kayla’s home, school, or social environments play in her unwillingness to read?
Paper: "The Acquisition of Phonemic Awareness in Native American and non-Native American Kindergarten Students"
1.) What differences, if any, are there in the acquisition of phonemic awareness between Native American and non-Native American kindergarten students from the beginning of the school year until midway through the school year?
Paper: "The Application of Word Problems in Private and Public Schools"
1.) What are the noticeable differences as to the way students solve word problems in two different school settings?
Paper: "Using Sociocultural Theory to Examine Professional Learning Communities in Education"
1.) What motivates school administrators to implement the professional learning community framework and make turnaround in their (administrator/teacher) practice?
2.) What barriers get in the way of making strides towards developing more coherent professional learning communities?
3.) What do teachers think about professional learning communities in regards to overall job satisfaction?
School Policies
Paper: "The Examination of School Breakfasts Nutritional Value and the Effects on Health and Students’ Ability to Think"
1.) What types of food are being served to elementary school students for breakfast and what is the nutritional makeup of those foods? 2.) How does the food that is being served affect the brain and the students’ ability to think?
Paper: "The Effects of Reader’s Theater"
1.) What are the affects, if any, of Reader’s Theater on fluency scores?
2.) What are the effects of Reader’s Theater?
Paper: "The Importance of Creativity in School"
1.) What are teacher’s reactions regarding creativity in schools from the Northeast after viewing “Are our schools killing creativity?” video from Sir Ken Robinson?
Paper: "Building Classroom Communities: What are the Social and Academic Impacts?"
1.) Does the use of classroom community building strategies impact students’ school experience either socially or academically?