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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 Eighteen: Giving Voice Through the Practitioner-Based Ed.D. Program

← 236 | 237 →CHAPTER EIGHTEEN

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The University of Hawai’i (UH) Ed.D. program in Professional Practice resulted from Phase II of the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED). The colloquium hoped to work collaboratively to bring about change and transformation to American education. Invited to join the project in 2011, UH aligned with 48 schools to strengthen the Ed.D. program as a degree that focused on leadership careers in professional practice. In particular, UH sought “to produce graduates who are reflective practitioners equipped with essential understandings of research” (CPED, 2011).

UH Cohort I began in July 2011 with 30 diverse participants from the University of Hawai’i system, the Department of Education, Hawai’i’s independent schools, and the country’s largest system for indigenous children, the Kamehameha Schools. The students included both administrators and teachers representing a wide range of ethnic diversity, as well as a number of frequently marginalized communities. Eighty percent of the students identified themselves as primarily Native Hawaiian, Japanese, Filipino, Chinese, Chamoru, Portuguese, or mixed; the rest were Caucasian. Eighty percent of the cohort was female, and the average student age was in the early-to-mid-40s. Approximately one-third of the cohort conducted projects focused on teaching Native Hawaiian students.

Over my 3-year journey to an Ed.D. program, what began as a numerical study of the financial sustainability of Maui’s small independent schools developed into stories of both the schools’ struggle for financial sustainability and my own for ← 237 | 238 → the understanding of practitioner-based research. Giving voice to Maui’s schools and practitioners...

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