Southern Utah University’s Master of Education (M.Ed) program has recently shifted from a traditional thesis to a practitioner-based research thesis, giving students the opportunity to personally apply their studies and research to individual classrooms and districts.
Dr. Tony Pellegrini, professor/director of graduate studies in education, supports learners in the role of a coach. He helps learners assess their settings and situations, and reflect on their approach to teaching in the ever-changing K-12 school system.
“Our emphasis on a practitioner-based approach provides validation and credibility to each classroom who follows this path,” said Dr. Pellegrini. “Our learners are better prepared to reflect upon and address the unique challenges and opportunities which they are confronted with today and in the future in our K-12 settings.”
Students begin their thesis by asking a question of personal and professional interest that relates to their classroom or district. They then employ different methods, resources, etc. to find a solution to their problem that works for their demographic. The research conducted is more action-based than other similar capstones, projects, and theses at other universities.
“Our master learners are coming to us more and more at the beginning of their career in education. We are preparing them today to reflect on, problem-solve, and critically address problems in their future career that we cannot even comprehend today. A practitioner-based research approach provides them with the tools and approaches which will truly engage them as lifelong learners, and not simply one who has completed a Thesis or Project and rests upon their laurels."
Dr. Tony Pellegrini is a professor of education at Southern Utah University. He teaches and presents, regionally and internationally, on topics involving 21st-century learning and learners, web-based learning tools and approaches, and methods and approaches for crafting graduate research initiatives.
Learn more about the practitioner-based thesis:
Tony Pellegrini Professor of Education
Specializing in online learning strategies in higher education, asynchronous learning, and web-based instructional tools