View All Assessments  Hide/Show details  Show assessment plan  Download to word   View printable   
 
University of Rochester Warner School of Education
Master's Essay Rubric Early Childhood (2010 standards)
 
Candidate: Evaluator:
Semester and Year (required): Course #:
Date:
Description:
 
Teaching & Curriculum Master's Essay: Guidelines and Rubrics

All Master students in Teaching and Curriculum (with the only exception of those working towards their first initial teaching certification, who instead complete a Comprehensive Portfolio) need to complete a Master's Essay as the culminating assessment of their program (Px and Sx program codes). There are three possible  formats for the Master’s Essay: 1. Library Research, 2. Field Research Project, or 3. Examining Your Own Educational Practice.
For submissions deadlines, guidelines and approval form see: 
https://www.warner.rochester.edu/files/assessment/MEguidelines.pdf
 
In the Description area above, please indicate the format chosen for the Masters Essay as well as the title.  If there is public URL for the essay provided by the student, please include the URL as well.
 
1. Library Research
Candidates will identify a significant issue or problem in contemporary U.S. education, do a review of the relevant literature, locate the research in a theoretical framework, state their position, and support it with conceptual arguments or empirical evidence in current educational theory and research. Candidates should also locate this position in the literature. The implications for education, educational theory, and future research must be clearly stated.
 
2. Field Research Project
Candidates will address a specific educational issue or problem through reporting and analyzing a research project they have undertaken in an educational setting other than their own classroom. Like option 1, this essay should identify the problem they examined, locate the research in a theoretical framework and, in a review of the relevant literature, describe what has already been done to study it. The essay must also describe how the research was conducted and analyze the findings. The implications for educational practice, theory, and future research should be clearly stated. For example, how do these findings contradict or support current educational theory and research?
 
3. Examining Your Own Educational Practice
In this essay format, candidates conduct research that examines their own teaching practice. Candidates should locate the rationale for the research in current educational theory or research (literature review). The research question/s that candidates explored systematically during their experience should also be clearly articulated, located in a significant educational problem, and grounded in a theoretical framework. A rich and detailed description of the practices examined, how the research question was explored, and an analysis of the results should constitute the body of the essay. This section should incorporate or refer to attached artifacts, such as teacher materials, lesson plans, examples of student work, videotapes of classroom events, etc. The implications for the candidate′s own practice, in particular, and for curriculum development, educational practice, and school reform in general should be clearly stated. In other words, what are the bigger questions that come out of your research for the field?
 
Part I - Master's Essay

Master's Essay Rubrics 
ME 1 Statement of Research Problem 
(1)Unacceptable / Insufficient
The problem or issue being addressed is not articulated in a clear, convincing way, nor is its significance established.
(3) Basic Proficiency
The problem or issue is addressed with some degree of clarity, but without a fully compelling, convincing argument about why this research is worthy, timely, and significant.
(4) Outstanding Performance
The problem or issue is addressed with both clarity and conviction. A convincing argument is made about why the research is worthy, timely, and significant.
ME 2 Review of Relevant Literatures 
(1)Unacceptable / Insufficient
The review of relevant theory and research literatures is weak and unconvincing. There is insufficient evidence of a knowledge base informed by contemporary literatures in the candidate's domain of study. Bibliographic references may be missing, outdated, or only weakly connected to the research issue addressed. The candidate's command and synthesis of theory may be unconvincing or even confusing. There is little evidence of an original, critical synthesis of research literatures nor is there an under girding framework informed by theory.
(3) Basic Proficiency
The review of relevant theory and research literatures is only moderately convincing. There is moderate evidence of a knowledge base informed by contemporary literatures in the candidate's chosen domain of study. Bibliographic references are in most cases appropriately provided and connected to the research issue(s) addressed. The candidate attempts a synthesis of relevant theoretical literatures, but with mixed or moderate success. There is an attempt made to articulate a theoretical framework, but the achievement of this synthesis is partial.
(4) Outstanding Performance
The review of relevant theory and research literatures is clear, critical, and convincing. The candidate's command of contemporary literatures in his/her chosen domain of study is obvious. Bibliographic references are appropriately provided; their links to the research issue(s) address are always clear. The paper evidences a creative, original synthesis of theoretical material and research literatures that leads to the articulation of a clear, under girding framework informed by theory.
ME 3 Methodology and Data Analysis 
(1)Unacceptable / Insufficient
The connections between data, analyses, and the research issue addressed and arguments made are weakly articulated – if at all. There is little or no articulation of the rationale for the candidate's selection and use of particular research methodologies and forms of data analysis. Data may be presented without adequate framing information or explanation in terms of the wider goals of the paper.
(3) Basic Proficiency
The connections between data, analyses, and the research issue addressed and the arguments made are articulated with moderate success. A rationale for the candidate's use of particular research methods and forms of analysis may be provided, but the links between this rationale and the ensuing arguments made may be less than fully clear or convincing. Data are presented with some framing information and some description or explanation of their meaning.
(4) Outstanding Performance
The connections between data, analyses, and the research issue addressed and the arguments made are clear and convincing. A rationale for the candidate's use of particular research methods and forms of analysis is provided; this rationale has clear links to the candidate's synthesis of theory and research literatures and to the ensuing argument(s) made across the paper. Data are presented with appropriate framing information and description or explanation of their meaning in terms of the wider goals of the paper.
ME 4 Grounding of Evidence/ Significance of Results 
(1)Unacceptable / Insufficient
The conclusions drawn are weakly or inadequately supported by the evidence presented. There is little in the way of summation that includes discussion of the wider implications (for research, practice, policy, theory) of the work. The conclusion does not show evidence of a perspective that takes into account potential critiques and a potentially wide, diverse readership.
(3) Basic Proficiency
The conclusions drawn are supported moderately well by the evidence presented, though with partial rather than full success. There is a summation of the central points made and some discussion of the wider implications of the work. The conclusion provides some evidence of a perspective that at least considers potential critiques and attempts to reach beyond a narrowly construed readership.
(4) Outstanding Performance
The conclusions drawn are fully, richly supported by the evidence presented. There is a clear and convincing summation of the central arguments made as well as discussion of the wider implications of the work (for research, practice, policy, and/or theory). The concluding arguments show evidence of a critical perspective that takes into account potential critiques and that addresses a wide, diverse readership.
ME 5 Clarity and Style 
(1)Unacceptable / Insufficient
The writing reveals a lack of awareness of intended audience in terms of word choice and style, and a lack of command over the genre that is most suited to the wider goals as these are articulated in the candidate's paper. The sequencing of sections may be confusing and/or the transitions between them weakly achieved. The introductory and concluding sections of the paper may be weak or barely discernable to the reader.
(3) Basic Proficiency
The writing reveals some awareness of intended audience and some effort to match genre to both audience and the wider goals of the work. However, the writing may at times be unclear or inconsistent: the sequencing of sections may be confusing in some places, transitions may at times be weak, or word choice may be awkward or ill-matched to the genre most suited to the candidate's larger purposes for the work. The introductory and concluding sections of the paper provide only moderate support and clarification for the reader.
(4) Outstanding Performance
The writing reveals a thoughtful, discerning awareness of audience, style, and genre. The genre and stylistic choices made by the candidate are appropriate to the wider goals of the candidate, and they are consistent in terms of their use throughout the paper. The sequencing of sections and transitions are smoothly achieved; the argument built up across the paper is clear and accessible for the reader. The introductory and concluding sections of the paper provide ample support and further clarity vis-à-vis the paper's argument and its overall structure.
 
Notes: