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The Education Doctorate (Ed.D.)

Issues of Access, Diversity, Social Justice, and Community Leadership


Edited By Virginia Stead

This first-of-its-kind text explores the Ed.D. program as a crucible for equitable higher education and community leadership. It was inspired in part by the Carnegie Project on the Educational Doctorate (CPED) and, more broadly, by widespread international interest in the power of the Ed.D. as a force for positive social change. The book’s range of cultural contexts and educational perspectives promises new insights and solutions for policy analysts, policy makers, executive administrators, faculty researchers, philanthropists, and policy beneficiaries.
In contrast to the traditional Ph.D., the Ed.D. typically attracts educational practitioners within school boards, government agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), as well as standalone or internationally linked community associations. The greatest attraction of the Ed.D. is an assessment strategy that encourages graduate students to incorporate their own cultural and professional contexts into a capstone project instead of producing a classic dissertation.
This book features inclusive language, highlights everyday expressions from minoritized cultures, and clarifies new concepts to accommodate new scholars and English Language Learners. Readers will discover representative research on Ed.D. policy and practice from the United States, Canada, and a sprinkling of other countries. Renowned and emergent researchers represent multiple roles within the Ed.D. education process. Individual chapters contrast historical and contemporary issues, and raise awareness about many complexities and strategies that make the Ed.D. an ideal engine of professional empowerment and social justice leadership.
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Chapter One: Ed.D. Program Candidate Recruitment and Admission Policy in the United States

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A doctorate of education degree is based on educational research and its application in professional practices in an educational environment. Sometimes the doctorate of education degree is referred to as a practitioner’s degree. Candidates will seek the degree because they are professional practitioners or individuals who are interested in becoming superintendents of schools or other school leaders at the building, district, university, or community level. The doctorate of education degree is likely to be the preferred qualification for many mid-career employees. Many candidates in the Ed.D. program will already have master’s degrees but may wish to pursue studies at the doctoral level. Although the focus of doctoral programs may vary, many programs emphasize instructional, organizational, public, and evidence-based leadership in state agencies and in public and nonpublic schools. They also support educators as entrepreneurs within individual program specializations.

The original doctorate of education degree program was intended to prepare experienced educational practitioners to serve as principals, directors, supervisors, and superintendents, as well as in other positions of leadership. These practitioners would be able to solve educational problems using best practices and research-based strategies. The first doctorate of education degree program in the ← 3 | 4 → United States was established at Harvard University in 1921 (Shulman, Golde, Conklin Bueschel, & Garabedian, 2006).

This discussion spans a broad array of issues ranging from the need to recruit future leaders to communication with potential candidates to digital marketing tools. It also takes into account the role of faculty members and...

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