Declaration of Interest and Interview with Mentor
Your first element of the research project is the Declaration of Interest. After talking with your mentor about possible research options, you will create a one-page description of an area of interest that you would like to explore, research and learn more about throughout your internship. In your Declaration of Interest, you should include:
- statement of the issue you are interested in exploring and why this topic interests you
- how your issue may relate to your internship
- list 1 way that you can explore this topic and create a source on your own- survey, interview, observations, case study, lab research
- Find one other outside source that you think will be of value to your research to get background information. Explain how you hope to use this source. Make sure to include the title and author and type of source (article, book, website, podcast, etc.)
- Record a conversation with your mentor to get their input.
Sample Declaration of Interest
- When I first walked onto the Conway Elementary school campus, I wasn't sure what to expect. The principal had talked to us about the budget cuts that had been made the previous year. Cutting art, PE, music and drama from an elementary school seemed unreal to me. When I was in elementary school, I looked forward all day to the PE games and activities we would play. I first got interested in music in 2nd grade in Ms. Guild's class, and it shaped the direction of my life. When I arrived the first day though to meet the classroom teacher I was assigned to at Conway, I found a warm environment of curious 2nd graders, not despondent children as I naively imagined. They had been told I was coming into their classroom to help out, but that didn't make it any easier for them to make sense of me. One girl asked me if I was someone's parent. Since I have been in the classroom for the last 2 weeks, the students have argued over who will read with me, which group I will play with during recess and have asked me repeatedly to eat lunch with them. They are full of energy and creativity. This topic of music in education interests me as I played two instruments growing up as well as singing in different vocal groups. Without this creative outlet in my life, I think I would have been a different student. I know that economic times are tough, but I wonder if cutting music and the arts is actually hurting students' academic ability.
- As I've begun to observe the lack of arts available in their classroom, I wonder, if a teacher, if trained would be able to bring in the music component that is no longer available. Music can not only be an enhancement to a classroom, but it helps expand students' minds and make them better students.
- For my on-site data collection I was thinking about interviewing an elementary teacher from Conway Elementary who has been at the school when they had a strong music program to try and find out what her opinion is of how things have changed. I would also like to see if the principal would let me pull discipline records from that year for that teacher to see if behavior was better when music was still being taught. I could compare them to current discipline records.
- To start looking at this topic, I have ideas for a possible outside research source to get me started. This possible resource will be the book Music Matters: A New Philosophy of Music Education by David J. Elliott. This book claims to explore the “significance of performing, listening, musicianship, multiculturalism, creativity, consciousness, curriculum development, and more.” Hopefully this will give me some concrete evidence of music having a positive impact on schools.
- Emailed file separately