The following are examples of quality dissertation proposals (i.e., the first three chapters of the dissertation) for the Doctor of Philosophy in educational leadership in the Department of Educational Leadership, Research and Technology at Western Michigan University. These proposals were approved by each doctoral candidate’s full dissertation committee prior to the student submitting application materials to WMU’s Human Subject Institutional Review Board. In addition, there are links to the approved Human Institutional Review Board applications and proposals and their final dissertation.
Please note that the dissertation proposals are written in the future tense and may contain some things that were ultimately developed or changed for the final dissertation. Also, be aware that prior to submitting your Human Subjects Institutional Review Board application, students must pass a number of online training modules.
In order to apply for Human Subjects Institutional Review Board approval, you must submit a hard copy of the required HSRIB application (it is the “application for initial review” located about half-way down the page), along with a separate document that summarizes how you plan to address each requested area on Page 3 of that form within the “VIII. Protocol Outline” section. In addition, attach the appendices of that document, all consent forms (with required elements noted on Page 4 of the form under “IX. Consent Document Development Checklist”), as well as recruitment letters, interview outlines and or the survey to be used. Julia Mays, in the Human Subjects Institutional Review Board office, is happy to address questions you might have about the process, and can be reached at (269) 387-8293. Completed applications and protocols can be sent electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Barbara Johnson, Ph.D.
Leadership-Influenced Practices that Impact Classroom Instruction Related to Writing: A Case Study of a Successful Elementary School
(K-12 Qualitative, Case Study Approach)
- Approved proposal (March 2007)
- IRB application form
- IRB proposal
- Final dissertation
Rebecca Brinks, Ph.D.
Intensive Professional Development Literacy Instruction for Preschool Teachers
(Higher Education/Early Childhood; Mixed Methods using a Secondary Data Set)
- Approved proposal (June 2007)
- HSRIB exempt letter
- Final dissertation
Ann Rea Kopy, Ed.D.
A Case Study of the Efficacy of a University Cohort Group in a Small Urban School District
(K-12 Qualitative, Case Study Approach)
- Approved proposal (November 2005)
- IRB proposal
- Final Dissertation—Part 1, Part 2
Our thanks to the doctoral students who agreed to have their proposals and other dissertation materials posted to this website as examples.
Tucker begins the essay by noting the "incompatibility" of slavery with the natural rights principles of the American Revolution. He therefore finds it impossible to justify the enslavement of black people "unless we first degrade them below the rank of human beings, not only politically, but also physically and morally." Unwilling to take this step, Tucker argues that the time had come to accept the "moral truth" of the wrongness of slavery.
This assertion of modern natural rights seems a singularly inauspicious ground from which to defend slavery, but Tucker manages to do just that. He begins with an appeal to the right of self-preservation. The "recent history of the French West Indies"—referring to the slave revolt that began in Haiti in 1791 and led to Haitian independence in 1804—indicated the disastrous results that might follow large-scale emancipation. Employing the information he acquired from his correspondence with members of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Tucker notes that mass abolition had only proven successful in those states with a low ratio of slaves to free people. According to Tucker, Virginia had too high a ratio of slaves to free people. In some parts of the state "it is probable that there are four slaves for one free white man." He argues that under such conditions, full-scale emancipation would produce famine at best and race war at worst.
With these considerations in mind, Tucker sets forth a very complicated plan of gradual emancipation. He pitches it as a revised version of gradual emancipation plans used in several northern states. First, all females born to slaves would serve twenty-eight-year indentures, after which their employers would give them twenty dollars and two suits of clothes. Children born to those serving such indentures must "be bound to service by the overseers of the poor, until they shall attain the age of twenty-one years." This same agency would receive 15 percent of their wages when hired out for the short term, and 10 percent of their wages if they received an apprenticeship lasting for a year or more. If the master refused to pay freedom wages upon the arrival of the twenty-eighth year, he would have to pay the court a five-dollar fee.
Tucker's plan denied freed slaves their basic civil liberties, including the right to , to serve on juries, to testify against or marry white people, or even to write a will. Tucker justifies this course of action in the same way he had justified the continuance of slavery: by employing natural rights arguments and by noting the dangers created by the Haitian Revolution. Tucker argues that when dealing with people entering "into a state of society," those already in the society have a right to "admit or exclude" anyone they wish. Thus he finds it consonant with natural rights to deny freed slaves the basic rights of citizens. He argues that the "recent scenes transacted" in Haiti "are enough to make one shudder with the apprehension of realizing similar calamities in this country." Finding it impossible to propose a plan of emancipation that does not "either encounter, or accommodate [it]self to prejudice," Tucker proposes a course that would negotiate what he saw as an acceptable mean between the evils of slavery and a mass emancipation that would "turn loose a numerous, starving, and enraged banditti upon the innocent descendants of their former oppressors."
By restricting the civil liberties of freed slaves, Tucker hoped that he might encourage them to leave the state. "There is an immense unsettled territory on this continent more congenial to their natural constitutions than ours," he writes, "where they may perhaps be received upon more favourable terms than we can permit them to remain with us." Tucker saw the right to property as a natural right, but he doubted that the slave owner had a property right to an unborn child; besides, he argues, the planter would get at least fourteen years of good labor out of every slave born on his plantation. Tucker thought that his plan would win over skeptical slave owners. He enumerates the most surprising features of it: "the number of slaves will not be diminished for forty years after it takes place; that it will even increase for thirty years; that at the distance of sixty years, there will be one-third of the number at its first commencement; that it will require above a century to complete it; and that the number of blacks under twenty-eight, and consequently bound to service, in the families they are born in, will always be at least as great, as the present number of slaves."