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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?

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Dissertations for Special Education

  • Abell, Michael M.

    Administrative attitudes and factors found in special education directors implementing universal design for learning/e-text within a state special education system

    Ph.D. thesis, University of Louisville.

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  • Adams, Dale

    Swimming against the current: Overcoming perceived barriers to technology integration for an experienced urban special education teacher

    Ph.D. thesis, University of Cincinnati.

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  • Adamson, Ryil Daro

    A study to determine the efficacy of a computer program designed to help students increase their ability to decode three-letter, short-A, consonant-vowel-consonant (c-v-c) words

    Doctor of Philosophy thesis, The University of New Mexico.

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  • Alat, Kazim

    The use of online parent support groups by Turkish parents of children with autism

    Ph.D. thesis, Indiana University.

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  • Alexander, Melina

    Evaluation of mathematics methods online: Planning knowledge, classroom applications, and pupil outcomes

    Ph.D. thesis, Utah State University.

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  • Allday, Carrie Marie Mathis

    Performance of students with exceptionalities in Florida Virtual School

    Ph.D. thesis, Oklahoma State University.

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  • Alman, Lourdes Fraga

    The effects of a computer-mediated intervention on “at-risk” preschool students' receptive vocabulary and computer literacy skills

    Ph.D. thesis, University of North Texas.

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  • Alsaleh, Abdulaziz Mohammad

    Relationships between student performance and levels of technology use by teachers of gifted and talented students in Riyadh

    Ph.D. thesis, University of Arkansas.

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  • Alverson, Charlotte Y.

    Exploring differences in teachers', administrators', and parents' preferences for data display and whether type of graphic display influences accuracy when extracting information

    Ph.D. thesis, University of Oregon.

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  • Anderson, Karen Lynn

    Benefit of three FM devices to speech perception of children who are hard of hearing listening in a typical classroom

    Ph.D. thesis, The Florida State University.

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  • Anderson, Susan D.

    Supporting reading comprehension of at-risk pre-adolescent readers through the use of text-to-speech technology paired with strategic instruction

    Ph.D. thesis, University of Kansas.

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  • Anderson, Tina Couch

    Implementation of computer-based instruction in preschool programs for children with disabilities

    Ph.D. thesis, University of Georgia.

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  • Appert, Christine Louise

    Availability, provision, and support of assistive technology by postsecondary institutions

    Ph.D. thesis, University of Virginia.

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  • Ashton, Tamarah M.

    A qualitative analysis of the influences of word processing on the editing and revising strategies of students with learning disabilities

    Ph.D. thesis, The Claremont Graduate University and San Diego State University.

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  • Atchison, Bradley Tilman

    Assistive technology as an accommodation on accountability assessments: An analysis of attitudes and knowledge of special education professionals

    Ph.D. thesis, Kansas State University.

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  • Attwood, Sarah

    The Use of Stimulus Equivalence Technology to Teach Reading and Reading Comprehension to a Hearing Impaired Student

    Master of Science thesis, Northeastern University.

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  • Ayala, Sandra M.

    The effects of video self-modeling on the decoding skills of children at risk for reading disabilities

    Doctor of Philosophy thesis, University of California, Riverside.

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  • Bagley, Elizabeth Hammond

    The assessment and validation of mathematic fluency using computer-based chronometric analysis

    Ph.D. thesis, University of Kentucky.

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  • Baker, Deborah Ellen

    The effects of speech recognition software and word processing on the written expression of students with disabilities

    Ph.D. thesis, State University of New York at Buffalo.

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  • Baker, Elizabeth A.

    Personal digital assistants: Effects on performance and perceptions of students with special needs

    Master's thesis, Southwest Minnesota State University.

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