choose a topic that you find personally compelling. In other words, you should identify a topic that you find interesting enough that you are willing to immerse yourself in the subject.

So, your first assignment is to begin the process of identifying a need you might like to address. This could be a need within the educational community or society at large.

Be careful here! Far too many students get these grandiose ideas about what to study – slow down, take a breath, and refocus. Many student have found it helpful to consider the following questions, jotting down their answers as they process through each question:

Using what you have gained through these questions, let’s begin to record our insights. To do this, you will need to complete a Topic Matrix. Click here to download the Topic Matrix worksheet that you will use to complete this checkpoint assignment.

In order to complete this matrix you will need to complete the following steps:

  • 1.) First, you will need to identify three broad subjects, topics or areas of interest for you. You must list three topics. You may already have your heart set on the thing that you want to study. However, it is helpful to your facilitator to get an idea of where your interest lie.
  • 2.) Second, under each topic isolate three issues, problems, or questions that pique your interest. This process will not only help you refine your own thoughts, but helps us get a better glimpse into the things that interest you. Sometimes you might be surprised by what connections exist in what seems like a diverse set of topics.
  • 3.) When reviewing what you have written, you will now need to identify the one thing you wish you could fix or address related to that topic.

Here is an example of how the same form might have been filled out:






Does leadership training for team captains help?

Does leadership training really make for better leaders?

Is spanking bad?


Do team initiatives foster team cooperation?

Does knowing your personality style really matter?

Does exposure to video games retard development?


Does mental imaging help performance?

Which is better; followership or leadership?

Does educational programming (Lil’ Einstein’s) help development?


Get coaches to focus on mental training as much as physical training.

Show that being a good follower is more beneficial than being a good leader.

Discover if corporeal punishment is bad.

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