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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 Thirteen: Ed.D. Socialization Contexts: Origins, Evolving Purpose, Demographic Trends, and Institutional Practices

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Today’s Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) programs battle to resolve widespread confusion and uncertainty about their identity under the research university roof and their purpose within and outside academia. Such conditions create a perplexing academic and professional socialization context for doctoral students. According to scholars, socialization is an important and inevitable process in doctoral training (Austin, 2002; Gardner, 2008, 2009; Gardner & Barnes, 2007; Golde & Dore, 2001; Mendoza, 2007; Mendoza & Gardner, 2010; Weidman & Stein, 2003; Weidman, Twale, & Stein, 2001). Tierney (2008) further proposes a postmodern view of academic and professional socialization in order to understand it as a meaning-making act on the part of doctoral students who make sense of their degrees and academic/professional experience through their own unique backgrounds and current contexts in which their programs/institutions reside.

However, research examining academic and professional socialization as a meaning-making act of students in education doctorate programs is scarce. Yet students’ perceptions and interpretations of what this degree means to them academically and professionally—and whether these two are separate terms—can broaden perspectives of education scholars and practitioners and offer some clarifications regarding the evolving and highly debated purpose of the Ed.D. degree.

← 171 | 172 → Mills (1959) once asserted that the exercise of sociological imagination might promise a deeper understanding of a problem/phenomenon when three elements are connected: history, society, and an individual meaning-making act. Gubrium and Holstein (1997) further acknowledge the specific roles of history, society, and institutional structures in one’s meaning making....

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