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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 Twenty-Eight: Whose Knowledge Counts in an Ed.D. Program? Building Diverse Relationships to Illuminate Opportunities and Challenges



In this chapter, we share our reflections on the development of the Ed.D. program in metropolitan education at the University of Michigan-Dearborn (UM-D). The chapter provides insights into our individual and collective development as members of the academic community during the process. As an African American male student (Dr. Truman Hudson, Jr.) and a European American male faculty member (Dr. Christopher Burke), we believe that the first aim of the program is to seek and attract professionals who aspire to impact and transform urban communities. Our vision for the program includes broadening the definition of education to include acts of public pedagogy (Giroux, 2003; Sandlin, Schultz, & Burdick, 2010), refocusing outcomes to include social justice (Apple, 1996), and aiming to develop a program that empowers us to act as change agents in the local community. We believe that this vision can only be enacted by valuing and centering the experiences of students as a source of knowledge and by intentionally cultivating relationships as part of a learning community. It was this shared belief that attracted both of us to the program.

Building on the student-centered framework, we believe the program cultivates and promotes a practical research orientation and a praxis-based knowledge and skill set as defined by Freire (1971). Additionally, the doctoral program’s focus on working with and for engaged professionals promotes active reflection and action in the world, with the goal of transforming those communities to which we belong. While we articulate and share this focus as...

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