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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 Twenty-Two: Bridge Building: Can Ed.D. Program Redesign Connect Social Justice Scholars and Practitioners?

← 292 | 293 →CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO

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The academy of scholarship and the real world of practice are disparate lands with their own native peoples. Differences between these people can be found in the forms and styles of communication and are perpetuated by the nature of their socialization systems. The most vexing of educational problems should be addressed by scholars and practitioners, but how will the chasm between these people be bridged? A growing movement within Ed.D. programs proposes to build a leadership bridge between scholar and practice worlds known as the “scholarly practitioner” (CPED, 2014a). Ed.D. redesign includes the dissertation in practice (DIP) as the capstone project (CPED, 2014a) and viewing research problems as problems of practice (Archbald, 2008; Osterman, Furman, & Sernak, 2014; Willis, Inman, & Valenti, 2010). Can the Ed.D. redesign build leadership bridges between the academy and school leaders to address long-standing social justice challenges?

This chapter will explore the nature of the chasm between the worlds of scholar and practitioner (Murphy, 2014a), including differences in publications, communities of learners, languages, advanced degrees, and views of research problems. Connecting researchers and practitioners through the Ed.D. redesign promises to produce a new frontier of educational leaders equipped with an array of skills and knowledge for resolving pervasive problems of educational inequity. Such program changes are consistent with Brown’s (2004) call for leaders who “foster successful, ← 293 | 294 → equitable, and socially responsible learning and accountability practices for all students” (p. 80). New understandings of leadership and redesigns of such programs have sparked much-needed...

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