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The Education Doctorate (Ed.D.)

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

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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 Ten: Fitness for Purpose: Is This a Problem for Professional Ed.D. Programs?

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Growth and proliferation of professional doctorates across a broad range of fields of knowledge since the 1990s (Bourner, Bowden, & Liang, 2001; Chiteng Kot & Hendel, 2012), to the point where they are now the dominant form of doctoral education (Miller, 2005), has prompted a debate about their purpose, their design, and their place in doctoral research education and training. The international phenomenon of professional doctorates has been attributed variously to a critique of the narrowness and the lack of multidisciplinarity, appropriate collaborative work, and skill sets preparing graduates for work attributed to the research-oriented Ph.D. (Chiteng Kot & Hendel, 2012), as well as governments’ concerns about management, efficiency, and quality assurance of doctoral education, and the employability of doctoral degree holders (Bourner et al., 2001; Pearson, Cumming, Evans, Macauley, & Ryland, 2011).

Complementary explanations have attributed this to the growth of the knowledge economy, as well as increased pressure for the university (1) to reshape its role to strengthen links among education, knowledge, and the economy; (2) to diversify and create more professionally relevant programs; and (3) to develop work-based learning (Bourner et al., 2001; Chiteng Kot & Hendel, 2012; Maxwell, Hickey, & Evans, 2005) in ways that reflect government awareness that economic competitiveness can be increased through innovations in science and technology and through better education and professional preparation for the workforce (Chiteng Kot & Hendel, 2012).

← 123 | 124 → A desire for doctorates that fitted the workplace promoted the development of professional doctorates that...

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