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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 Four: An Argument for the Ed.D. Project Study as an Alternative to the Dissertation

← 50 | 51 → CHAPTER FOUR


In this chapter we seek to acquaint readers with the diverse student body being attracted to hybrid doctoral programs and to the ways in which applied capstone projects can meet their needs and expand their efforts to work more effectively for social justice. We present our vision of the components that should be incorporated in an applied capstone project. There are five main components: students’ professional settings provide the issues that underlie their capstones; the capstones culminate in a project; the capstones relate to service and promoting social justice; theory and practice inform each other within the capstones; and deep reflection on their own learning along several dimensions is incorporated in their capstones.

Our vision is grounded in our histories as faculty members. In addition to teaching doctoral courses, we have collectively been chairing and serving on doctoral committees, both Ph.D. and Ed.D., for about 35 years and for nearly 100 students in five institutions. What differentiates our experience from that of many other researchers and doctoral faculty members is that, for the most part, our mentoring of doctoral students has taken place in hybrid programs, that is, online programs that require at least one face-to-face residency. The student population and the means of mentoring in these programs are markedly different from the brick-and-mortar institutions’ education schools. Further, the number of educational doctorates offered online and the number of students pursuing them continue to ← 51 | 52 → rise. Based on our review of the education doctorate literature and our...

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