Doctor of Education

EdD Curriculum and Courses

Term One

EDU-7100: Social, Philosophical, and Historical Contexts of Education (3 credits)

In this class, students bring the problem of practice they identified during the application process and begin to explore it through the lenses of equity, social justice, and historical context. Students are asked to examine their own frames of reference in order to understand the origins of their personal views and how those views impact their professional practice. Students examine the historical development of educational philosophies and apply it to an essay that references at least three major educational thinkers and discuss how these works support, frame and/or challenge the students’ own approach to educational practice.

EDU-7210: Doctoral Writing Workshop (3 credits)

This workshop-based seminar introduces students to doctoral-level thinking and writing across disciplines. Students will engage in critical analysis of shared readings, hone their ability to construct coherent, evidence-based arguments, and participate in a workshop model to receive and provide constructive peer feedback. Additionally, students will explore the purpose of a literature review and examine processes for conducting and writing the literature review. Students will have the opportunity to develop the foundations for a literature review within their area of interest.

Term Two

EDU-7500: Leadership for Social Justice (3 credits)

Students will examine the social and political systems within which they work and how to lead change within those systems. Emphasis is on a systems approach to change and arriving at an individual understanding of leadership that is based on each student’s conceptions of their role in seeking social justice through education. Students engage with their peers and scholarly leadership literature to address barriers and facilitators to change in their setting. Students will also explore various constructions of the term “social justice” and reflect the leadership implications of their preferred approach to social justice Using the program’s cross-cutting strands each student develops a written analysis of their setting (organization or community), a presentation to their cohort, and a substantial self-reflective essay on their strengths and areas for further development with regard to leadership approach, critical reflection, the use of dialogue, the significance of tacit knowledge, and coalition building for change.

EDU-7320: Foundations of Transdisciplinary Inquiry (3 credits)

This course introduces students to the inquiry process and its underlying philosophical assumptions and paradigmatic approaches to the nature of reality, how we can come to know the world, and the role of values in scholarly inquiry. Students will stake out their own positions on these issues of ontology, epistemology, and axiology. Students will explore the concept of transdisciplinarity in relation to traditional disciplinary models of research and will consider the how a transdisciplinary approach to inquiry may influence the design of their own inquiries, including the formation of an inquiry question. Students will also consider how a transdisciplinary approach influences their practice as educators and change agents.

Term Three

EDU-7400: Pedagogies of Practice (3 credits)

This course will facilitate students in developing their own personal pedagogy of practice essay. This is a highly reflective statement of who they are as educational practitioners and agents of change, what they believe in, and how they intend to use their pedagogical expertise in the service of social change within their own professional practice. The essay will demonstrate not only their practical commitments and strategies, but also explain how their practice is informed by relevant educational theories of learning.

EDU-7110: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (3 credits)

This course examines approaches to building diverse, equitable, and inclusive school systems that range from legislative, transactional, technical, adaptive, and relational methodologies. Students will become familiar with leadership frameworks and practices that can serve to leverage profound change in the complex systems that are schools and will also consider how similar strategies may lead to change in other organizational and social systems.

Term Four

EDU-7310: Methods of Inquiry: Collecting, Interpreting, and Using Data (3 credits)

This class emphasizes the skills a practitioner-researcher will need to generate and employ data to address problems in practice. Students develop the ability to understand strengths and weaknesses of different data gathering methods and which methods are best suited to which problems. The ethics of data use and the potential for representing multiple perspectives will be explored. Along the way they will begin gathering the literature that will inform their own action-oriented inquiry. Students will learn to use data to communicate effectively with their constituent groups. Students will expand on their review of literature that will inform their own action-oriented inquiry. This course will serve as the foundation and launching point for students’ action-oriented research project in EDU-7350.

EDU-7600: Designing and Evaluating Education-Based Change Initiatives (3 credits)

Students examine the planning cycle of instructional design applicable to school settings and other contexts where educational practice is conducted. Students learn to identify important learning characteristics of the people with whom they are working, using that information and the learning outcomes on which they are working to develop focused educational plans. This course takes the stance of program evaluation and other forms of outcomes assessment as being an integral part of an effective learning organization. Best practices in the evaluation of education-based change initiatives and programs are discussed and explored in reference to the student’s areas of interest.

Term Five

EDU-7350: Action-Oriented Inquiry (3 credits)

Students will examine various forms of action-oriented inquiry. Building on previous courses on designing and conducting research, students will develop action-oriented research projects that are limited in duration. The students learn the steps involved in developing action-oriented inquiry projects, develop a project, carry it out, evaluate the results, and plan for the next steps in their project. Emphasis is placed on the educative and emancipatory functions of action-oriented inquiry’s impact organizational and social change. Faculty guide and facilitate the process, while the students work with their cohort peers, present the results, and offer suggestions for refinement of their work.

EDU-8000 —EDU-8060: Foundations (Specialization) (3 credits)

Students will deepen their scholarship into practice by exploring leading theorists, concepts, and discourses within the Specialization, with an emphasis on building a foundation for the Practice-Based Dissertation inquiry. The course may be offered as a seminar or as a directed study.

Term Six

EDU-8100—EDU-8160: Special Topics I (Specialization) (3 credits)

Includes course offerings and directed study offerings of special interest within the specialization.

EDU-8200—EDU-8260: Special Topics II (Specialization) (3 credits)

Includes course offerings and directed study offerings of special interest within the specialization.

EDU-8300—EDU-8360: Special Topics III (Specialization) (3 credits)

Includes course offerings and directed study offerings of special interest within the specialization.

Term Seven

EDU-8600: Integrated Essay and Portfolio (2 credits)

Students maintain a Portfolio of their mastery of the learning outcomes required for completion of the core and specialization courses. Each time they return to a residency they will spend some time in residency reviewing their progress to date and presenting evidence to their peers and to the faculty. In an Integrated Essay, students will articulate how the five program strands are present in their work and how they have demonstrated the program’s dispositional outcomes in their practice and coursework. Because the program is deeply grounded in practice, the students will demonstrate how their work applies to their practice as individuals and members of a community of practice. As students begin to think deeply about the social justice and ethical impact of their professional practice, they will find ways to demonstrate the ability to communicate that learning with others. Students will make a formal presentation of their portfolio (in person or virtually), demonstrating their learning and connecting it with their path to the Practice-Based Dissertation.

EDU-8700: Proposal (3 credits)

Students will be guided in developing and refining the inquiry questions for their Practice-Based Dissertation, and to selecting and providing a rationale for the action-oriented method of inquiry they will employ. Upon completing the course, students should have completed a draft research Proposal, which sets forth the nature of their dissertation inquiry, a detailed account of the methods to be used, and a contextualization of the inquiry in relevant scholarly literature. Students may defend the Proposal during the term.

Term Eight

EDU-8800: Pro-Seminar I (2 credits)

This seminar is designed to provide support for students in the process of formulating and conducting their Practice-Based Dissertation inquiry. Topics to be addressed during the seminar include the following: ongoing evaluation and assessment of action-oriented research methods, research ethics, dilemmas of working in the field, analysis, writing the dissertation, making formal presentations, and presenting and implementing research results. Students and instructors serve as a learning community, providing support, advice, and critique. Each semester, students will make a formal presentation to the class documenting the current state of their research and bringing to the class the expertise they have developed.

EDU-8802: Pro-Seminar II (2 credits)

This seminar is a continuation of EDU-8800.

Term Nine

EDU-8900: Practice-Based Dissertation I (6 credits)

Under the guidance of their chair, students will finalize the planning phase and begin conducting a Practice-Based Dissertation. By the end of this course, students are required to: (1) finalize and defend the Proposal, if not already defended in EDU-8700; (2) Obtain IRB approval; and (3) gather data.

EDU-8902: Practice-Based Dissertation II (6 credits)

This course is a continuation of EDU-8900. By the end of this course, students will continue with data collection and may proceed to analyzing data and writing their manuscript. Students may defend the dissertation during the term. If they do not, they will register for EDU-9000 Practice-Based Dissertation Continuation. Credits for EDU-8902 are not awarded until the dissertation is approved by the committee and program administration.

After Term 9, there is a zero-credit continuation course each term until the dissertation is completed.

EDU-8902X: Practice-Based Dissertation Continuation (0 credits)

Students register for this course each term until the dissertation is completed and approved by the committee and program administration.

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