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Coming Up With Interesting Special Education Dissertation Topics


Special education is a dynamically changing field where you can always find recent trends and issues. Follow these simple steps to pick an excellent topic for your dissertation.

  • Choose your general area of interest.
  • Determine what aspects of special education you will be most interested in researching. Topic areas you might consider include theories of autism, ADHD syndrome, inclusion programs in schools, musical and play therapies, the role of parent involvement, or cross-country studies of special education practices. After you choose the general direction of your research, narrow your topic down to a manageable size.
  • Look for controversy.
  • The best dissertations in any field are produced on controversial topics. Special education is not an exception. The most debatable topics here usually deal with inclusion – the practice of placing children with special needs into ordinary classrooms. Do you think inclusion is efficient to help special-needs learners, or it is just about political correctness? Are teachers in ordinary schools prepared to deal with autistic children?
  • Compare special education practices in two countries or areas.
  • Dissertations that look at educational practices in two different regions are usually interesting to read and not very difficult to write. Compare American special education to that of another country, e. g. India or Saudi Arabia. Check your university library for previous research studies on this country – there might be quite a lot. Think of what value your dissertation can add to the existing knowledge. You can replicate a 10- or 20-year-old study with newer available data, or use another methodology.
  • Explore a particular therapy.
  • If you want to be creative in your dissertation, music therapy topics might be a good choice. They are fun to write on, and many of them are still underexplored. Examine the effects of music therapy on test scores, or its efficiency in different ethnical groups.
Topic Examples
  • What kinds of support do special needs students need to successfully adapt into a general classroom?
  • How can personal care assistants facilitate the adaptation of special needs students
  • Does strong parent involvement provide for better classroom performance?
  • How effective are the current inclusion policies of school districts?
  • What educational designs are most efficient for successful inclusions?
  • How should general education teachers be trained to deal with special needs students?
  • What should an effective team-teaching classroom be?
  • What can the U.S. special education system learn from Taiwanese practices?
  • What are the main challenges in the physical education of special needs children?
  • Do students who receive more consultation with autism specialists perform better?