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Curriculum & Instruction, M.Ed. Non-Thesis Projects

Curriculum & Instruction graduate students at the University of Idaho are able to select from three master’s projects and from a number of options listed. Each project will include a document that is professionally written.

Within the framework of the project, students, along with their major professors, may choose to complete one of the following inquiry projects:

  • Classroom curriculum/instruction projects usually are focused on improvement of curriculum and instruction within a teacher’s own classroom. In the context of the proposal, the students describe what they want to improve, why they consider the improvement needed and how they intend to accomplish the improvement.

  • Implementation of an educational project responding to a school, district or community need. This project may take many forms. For example, the student could take the leadership role in developing and implementing a change within a school district. A teacher might also become involved with a project that initiates a teacher study group, organizes school volunteers to contribute more effectively to classroom learning, or connects school curriculum with work in a local museum or library or another informal learning environment.

  • Theoretical exploration professional papers are completed as an independent study under the advisement of a major professor. The professional paper involves a review of the literature and careful analysis of a complex issue that has multiple perspectives. Topics might include the politics of the “No Child Left Behind Act,” the use of technology in classrooms or the impact of increasing student diversity on the formation of classroom communities. A public presentation of the completed work is required. This could take the form of a conference presentation, a paper submitted for publication or other forums as approved by the students’ major professors.

  • Research involving students as subjects may not be eligible for exempt status and must undergo an expedited review by the Human Assurances Committee (HAC). If students are pursuing a research project, it is imperative to work closely with their major professors to ascertain the process that needs to be followed in conjunction with a HAC review.

  • A research project would exemplify different aspects of quantitative, qualitative or mixed methods research. The quality of the paper will be such that the paper could be published in professional, scholarly journals. Included within this process would be a proposal, approval from the HAC, if necessary, literature review, methods, results, discussion and references. Public dissemination of the paper would follow this process.

A public presentation of the portfolio is required.

Portfolio Requirements: 

Table of Contents

The Table of Contents shall be provided, including a list of the major sections of the portfolio and subheadings.

1. Interpretation of Reflective Practice

  • This section should focus on your understanding of reflective practice based on course readings in the professional educational courses. You also may report on other courses and experiences in the Master of Education program, as well as your professional practice.

2. Reflection on Practice

  • This section should reveal student reflection and understanding of self and practice, including several or all of these aspects:      

  • Philosophical: Student goals, visions and images of one’s self as an educator/leader.

  • Professional: Student competency and artistry as an educator/leader.

  • Affective: Student feelings about oneself and ones identity as well as other people who influence ones practice.

  • Ethical: Student morals, beliefs, values and system of ethics that influence ones practice.

  • Sociocultural: The social, cultural, political and economic forces that influence ones practice.

3. Demonstration of Depth of Knowledge:

This section shall be fulfilled by:
  • Providing five entries showing depth of knowledge in five different areas — at least one that demonstrates student commitment to social justice, equity, diversity and school improvement. Two of the entries should be formal papers and three of the entries may be examples or a demonstration.

  • Each entry should include a reflection with these components:

    • How this learning connects to student work in the Master of Education program, e.g., courses, readings, films, papers, projects and class activities.

    • What this entry signifies about students as learners. 

    • What this entry signifies about students as educators/leaders. 

    • Particularly for the fifth entry (but for other entries as applicable), how this work demonstrates student commitment to social justice, diversity, equity and school improvement 

4. Reflection on Growth and Learning in the Master of Education program

  • The concluding section of one’s portfolio should be a self-reflection about one’s most significant learning during the Master of Education program, including consideration of growth as a scholar, educator and reflective practitioner. Students should draw from specific concepts and readings to illustrate discussion.

This project is a negotiated alternative for students interested in exploring a topic, action or experience that does not fit into the above categories. Students will write a description of their project and the processes and outcomes of their work. Within the project, students will create an overview of the topic and provide a background theory or framework that guides their exploration. The students also will be responsible for a public presentation, which could take many forms.


Department of Curriculum and Instruction

Mailing Address:
College of Education, Health and Human Sciences
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Drive
Moscow, Idaho 83844-3082

Phone: 208-885-6587

Fax: 208-885-1071