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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 Sixteen: Leveraging Multiplicity in the Ed.D. Cohort toward Transformation of Practice

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The warp and weft of our nation’s educational framework, layered and taut, leave little room for significant changes in pattern. Educational practice and policy, mired in complexity, avoid reform. Limited by our own personal and professional epistemologies, we tend toward confirmation of the themes that guide our quotidian practice. We rely on notions of “mastery” and “expertise” to guide us when we should be looking toward inquiry and development. Rarely are we able to challenge our own practice and pedagogy at a foundational and paradigmatic level by unravelling our routines and habits of mind.

The Ed.D. program has the capacity to disrupt the stasis of praxis often directed by a continuum of action and reaction without reflection. By convening practitioners from different spheres of personal and professional experience, the Ed.D. is capable of fostering encounters with divergence that, in turn, expose our assumptions and unlock our inclination to investigate them. Through discourse that leverages diversity and multiplicity toward a critical examination of practice, the Ed.D. can move us from routine response or reaction to transformative reflection.

Through pedagogy rooted in reflective practice, the Ed.D. is able to draw on diversity (e.g., ethnic, cultural, and professional), navigate divergence, and orchestrate convergence to ignite reflective practice and foster a “scholarship of integration” (Schön, 1987, p. 31). This pedagogy, aimed at the interrogation of ← 211 | 212 → assumptions, along with a curriculum that surfaces tensions between the familiar and the unknown, generates a complexity that elevates reflection and compels...

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