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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 Nineteen: The 100 Dinners Project: An Ed.D. Capstone Project Grounded in Conceptual Change Theory

← 246 | 247 → CHAPTER NINETEEN


All change, even very large and powerful change, begins when a few people start talking with one another about something they care about. Simple conversations held at kitchen tables, seated on the ground, or leaning against doorways are powerful means to start influencing and changing our world.


Throughout history, areas across the United States have undergone demographic upheavals that have caused periods of change, confusion, and conflict. Our country’s uniqueness derives from diverse populations able to merge to create an eclectic society drawing from the attributes of its parts. Often the intersection of these parts is located within schools, where children learn to navigate their way through new environments and create unique cultures of their own. As students try to embrace new cultures, they may encounter preexisting teacher and staff perceptions of their culture, race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, and so forth that may or may not be accurate. A focus on teacher perception of students is of great importance because of the key role it plays in how “connected” a student feels within the classroom. How connected a student feels has been shown to affect motivation and engagement and result in a reduction of substance abuse, engagement in violence, or initiation of sexual activity (McNeeley, Nonnemaker, & Blum, 2002).

← 247 | 248 → Teachers who are unfamiliar with changing student demographics may rely on perceptions of students formed by outside sources such as the media (Solórzano & Yosso,...

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