Student Research

View Sample Topics for Educational Foundations (EDEF) Master’s Projects and Doctoral Dissertations.


The Master’s Degree requires a culminating experience that should demonstrate mastery in some aspect of your field of study. This culminating experience can be in the form of either a Plan A or Plan B.

The Plan A thesis is a scholarly contribution to knowledge. It presents research conducted by the student under the supervision of the thesis committee chair. The final submission becomes a permanent and official addition to the body of scholarship undertaken at UHM.

“Single-Sex Education for Asian American Girls’ Self-Worth” (2021) Plan A

The Plan B project should function as an opportunity for the student to look at an EDEF-related issue in-depth in a way that allows for substantive engagement with theory, policy, and/or practice. The Plan B project should have professional merit and value in the student’s area of concentration. It might involve curriculum development, original research, a portfolio or a creative endeavor

  • Understanding of Purpose, Values, and Effects of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program in Japan from Perspectives of Proponents of the IB Program
  • Teaching Strategies and Guidance at the Hawai’i Youth Correctional Facility
  • Tracing Settler Colonialism: The Beginning of Education in Okinawa
  • Back to the Future: Implications of the Smith Hughes Act in 21st Century Hawaiʻi
  • A Fourth-Grade English Language Learner Biology In-Class/Supplementary Application: Bioprentice
  • Creating a Hawaiian Studies Curriculum in Hawaiʻi’s Public School Classrooms: Sense of Belonging Curriculum Unit
  • Sabbatical programs offered by independent schools: Benefits, challenges, and tensions”
  • Reaction training: Teaching decision-making skills to performance athletes
  • University of Hawaii: The educational experience of the transfer student athlete
  • Effective COVID teaching strategies to use in the classroom
  • Understanding the educational experiences of Micronesian students and the teachers who teach them
  • More harm than good? A systematic review of non-governmental organizations’ non-formal education programs for disadvantaged youth
  • The teachers’ perspective of student-athletes in the classroom
  • Coaching goes beyond X’s and O’s: The experience of coaches implementing character and leadership development in Division 1 football programs”
  • The impact of character development programs on empathy development in elementary students
  • Weaving together the strands: Queen Emma and the Kaula of the 19th century Hawaiian education
  • Understanding the educational experience of Indonesian foreign domestic workers in Singapore
  • Creating an intellectually safe environment in a high school classroom: Curriculum unit
  • Climbing the ladder: A look into the rise of graduate assistant coaches within college football
  • Understanding how leadership change affects middle school teachers
  • Mitigating achievement pressure & navigating the college admissions process: Innovative strategies for schools and college counselors


A dissertation is the final product of a doctoral program. It presents research conducted by the student under the supervision of the dissertation committee chair. The dissertation should exhibit originality in the sense that it does not duplicate the work of someone else. The final submission becomes a permanent and official addition to the body of scholarship undertaken at UHM.

  • Teachers as Policy Agents: Enacting the Professional Learning Communities Policy
  • Beyond the Picture Postcard: Exploring the Experiences of National Student Exchange Participants from the Continental United States to the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
  • Teachers’ Decisions on Curriculum and Instruction: Standardized and Contextualized Aspects Of Pedagogy in Diverse and Marginalized Contexts During the Era of Accountability
  • Catholic High School Students’ Perceptions of Racism
  • Montessori Education in Poland
  • The Roses of Kabul: A School Administrator’s Autoethnography Elucidating the lived experience & on the ground realities of girls’ education, school development, & adolescent trauma in Afghanistan
  • Ethnomathematics in Hawaiian schools: Analysis of a Secondary Ethnomathematics Curriculum
  • “Life in a Year”: The Intercultural Exchange Experiences of Secondary School Exchange Students and Volunteer Host Families
  • Transcending self and other through Akogare (desire)