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IJER Vol 24-N3

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The mission of the International Journal of Educational Reform (IJER) is to keep readers up-to-date with worldwide developments in education reform by providing scholarly information and practical analysis from recognized international authorities. As the only peer-reviewed scholarly publication that combines authors’ voices without regard for the political affiliations perspectives, or research methodologies, IJER provides readers with a balanced view of all sides of the political and educational mainstream. To this end, IJER includes, but is not limited to, inquiry based and opinion pieces on developments in such areas as policy, administration, curriculum, instruction, law, and research.
IJER should thus be of interest to professional educators with decision-making roles and policymakers at all levels turn since it provides a broad-based conversation between and among policymakers, practitioners, and academicians about reform goals, objectives, and methods for success throughout the world.
Readers can call on IJER to learn from an international group of reform implementers by discovering what they can do that has actually worked. IJER can also help readers to understand the pitfalls of current reforms in order to avoid making similar mistakes. Finally, it is the mission of IJER to help readers to learn about key issues in school reform from movers and shakers who help to study and shape the power base directing educational reform in the U.S. and the world.

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Introduction: National Survey of U.S. Doctoral Educational Leadership Programs

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Introduction: National Survey of U.S. Doctoral Educational Leadership Programs

Joan L. Buttram

The preparation of competent educational leaders is crucial to educational reform efforts. Numerous research studies have pointed to the influence of strong instructional leadership in the overall success of a school for its students (Leithwood, Louis, Anderson, & Wahlstrom, 2004; Marzano, Waters, & McNulty, 2005). Although not as important as classroom teachers, school leaders can nurture school environments where teachers and students thrive. These findings have prompted researchers and policymakers to examine best practices in university-based leadership programs (Jackson & Kelly, 2002; Orr, 2006; Southern Regional Education Board, 2005; Young, Crow, Murphy, & Ogawa, 2009) as part of a larger effort to link the effectiveness of these programs and the candidates they graduate with subsequent performance in school buildings. However, there are little data on the variety and range of preparation programs or the effectiveness of these programs (Baker, Orr, & Young, 2007).

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Focus and Delivery of Doctoral Programs in Educational Leadership

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Focus and Delivery of Doctoral Programs in Educational Leadership

Kathleen Topolka-Jorissen

Yinying Wang

ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to present the current status of program focus and delivery of doctoral-level educational leadership programs in the United States. Drawing on a 2011 national survey of educational leadership doctoral programs in 103 institutions, this study describes the differences and similarities of EdD and PhD programs in two domains—program focus (i.e., purposes, credit requirements, and curriculum emphases) and program delivery (i.e., use of cohort model, time, location, and face-to-face/online hybrid). In light of mixed findings, implications for practice and recommendations for further research are presented.

Doctoral-level education is undergoing reform globally. Impetus for the reform has stemmed from the changing global economy, the focus on knowledge as a competitive advantage, and the demands from labor markets (Bitusikova, 2009; Nerad, 2011; Neumann, 2005; Probst & Lepori, 2008; Servage, 2009). Scholars have noted the rapid growth of professional doctorates in the fields of health, law, management, nursing, psychology, science, and education (Nerad, 2011; Neumann, 2005; Servage, 2009). In these fields, traditional doctoral education, with its focus on academic teaching and research, has not met the rising challenges of candidates who aim to be practitioners instead of scholars (Kehm, 2007). The expansion of the professional doctorate has fueled the need to redefine the purposes of doctoral degrees globally, as well as to differentiate between the features of the professional and the research degree (Kehm, 2007).

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Examining the Status of Partnerships in University Educational Leadership Doctoral Programs

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Examining the Status of Partnerships in University Educational Leadership Doctoral Programs

Ellen H. Reames

Frances Kochan

ABSTRACT: While there are consistent calls for educational leadership programs in higher education to develop partnerships with varied groups, a review of the educational leadership literature reveals a consistent lack of published manuscripts specifically focused on partnerships, particularly in doctoral programs. This study investigated the degree to which educational leadership doctoral programs in the United States are engaging in partnership activities. The study also investigated whether there are differences in EdD and PhD program partnerships in terms of their purposes and the practitioner roles within them. Implications for practice and suggestions for future research are presented.

Educational leadership preparation programs in the United States have undergone major changes in the last decade (Perez, Uline, Johnson, James-Ward, & Basom 2011; Shelton, 2010). The call for change at the master’s level, where many school leaders are initially prepared, has resulted in extensive program redesign initiatives (Darling-Hammond, LaPointe, Meyerson, Orr, & Cohen, 2007; Kochan & Reames, 2013; Orr, 2006; Orr & Orphanos, 2011; Reames, 2010). Some of these initiatives were mandated by the state, while others were the result of a response to general criticisms that university programs were not adequately preparing principals to lead schools (Bottoms & O’Neill, 2001; Hess & Kelley, 2007; Levine, 2005). At the doctoral level, the primary impetus for changing programs came from the Carnegie Foundation (Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate, 2013) and from educational leadership associations such as the University Council for Educational Administration (2010).

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The Role of Candidate Assessment Within Educational Leadership Doctoral Programs

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The Role of Candidate Assessment Within Educational Leadership Doctoral Programs

Pamela D. Tucker

Cynthia L. Uline

ABSTRACT: Contemporary efforts to reform educational leadership preparation programs span more than three decades. As scholars have chronicled this critical examination of leadership practice and preparation, they have also proposed new directions, addressing the very fundamentals of preparation program design, including student selection, content, pedagogy, field-based learning, and assessment. This article reports findings from a larger national survey of doctoral-level educational leadership programs (n = 103) and is descriptive of assessment activities that are embedded in EdD and PhD leadership programs. Implications of findings and avenues for future research and development in the areas of student assessment are discussed.

Contemporary efforts to reform educational leadership preparation programs span more than three decades. Beginning with the 1987 National Commission of Excellence in Educational Administration papers and the 1989 National Policy Board for Educational Administration report, educational leadership professional organizations, the larger policy community, and scholars of the field have acknowledged the need to reform educational leadership as a profession, spurring close scrutiny of more traditional approaches to leadership preparation (Griffiths, Stout, & Forsyth, 1988; Murphy, Young, Crow, & Ogawa, 2009). As scholars (Murphy, 2001; Young & Peterson, 2002) have chronicled this critical examination of leadership practice and preparation, they have also proposed new directions, addressing the very fundamentals of preparation program design, including student selection, content, pedagogy, field-based learning, and assessment (Grogan & Andrews, 2002; McCarthy, 1999; Murphy, 1999, 2005, 2006; Murphy & Orr, 2009; Murphy & Vriesenga, 2004; Perez, Uline, Johnson, James-Ward, & Basom, 2011; Young, Peterson, & Short, 2002).

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Diversifying Doctoral-Level Leadership Preparation: Need Versus Reality

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Diversifying Doctoral-Level Leadership Preparation: Need Versus Reality

Mónica Byrne-Jiménez

Allison M. Borden

ABSTRACT: In light of national demographic shifts, leadership preparation programs must create learning environments that reflect school communities. Little is known about issues of diversity in doctoral leadership programs. The survey in this special issue included one item about student diversity in 103 University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA) educational leadership programs. Respondents reported the number of EdD and/or PhD graduates from 2007–2008 through 2010–2011. The article reviews literature on doctoral study, diversity, and leadership development. Based on this review and the available survey diversity data, this article provides a critical analysis of educational leadership doctoral programs and offers recommendations for continued development.

The recent U.S. Supreme Court (in)decision Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin1 highlighted the underlying tensions around diversity in higher education. Many policymakers and politicians question racial and ethnic diversity as an imperative in colleges and universities. Even within the field of educational leadership, some are slow to respond to changing demographics in public schools or the need to foster a more diverse student body in graduate schools. As far back as 1988, the National Commission on Excellence in Education Administration called for the recruitment and retention of students and faculty of color (Griffiths, Stout, & Forsyth, 1988). If one were to look at the diversity in doctoral programs in educational leadership, it would not be surprising that programs continue to enroll and graduate low numbers of students of color. This poses a double challenge for the field of educational leadership: preparing school leaders that reflect public school communities and developing scholars of color to join the faculty ranks.

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Redesign of EdD and PhD Educational Leadership Programs

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Redesign of EdD and PhD Educational Leadership Programs

Joan L. Buttram

Virginia Doolittle

ABSTRACT: Over the past three decades, numerous calls have been issued from professional associations, government entities, researchers, and university faculty and administrators to strengthen the preparation of U.S. educational leadership programs. Survey responses were compared for educational leadership doctoral programs that have been redesigned versus those that have not. The results suggest that in spite of substantial numbers of EdD and PhD programs reporting redesigns, few changes have been made to align with emerging research or best practice. The only substantive change is in the use of a cohort-based design. Implications for future redesign efforts are discussed.

Numerous authors have chronicled the history of the doctoral degree in education (Perry, 2011, 2012; Powell, 1980; Toma, 2002). The first school administration course was offered at the University of Michigan in 1879 (Murphy, 1992), and the first PhD in education was established in 1893 by James Russell at Teachers College (Perry, 2011). Almost three decades later in 1921, Henry Holmes—dean of the newly established Graduate School of Education at Harvard College—created the first doctorate of education, the EdD, “to train the [school] leaders” (Powell, 1980, p. 144). Powell (1980) reported that the design of the EdD was debated: Should it be a traditional research degree (PhD) or a professional degree (EdD)? Harvard College added research and statistical courses and dissertation requirements to make the new EdD comparable to other doctoral research programs.1 Roughly 10 years later, James Russell’s son, William Russell, also dean of Teachers College, introduced the EdD to offer coursework in educational administration, curriculum and instruction, and guidance because he believed that the PhD did not serve the continued education of teachers (Cremin, 1978, pp. 15–16). Unlike the Harvard College EdD, students’ final projects at Teachers College typically focused on administrative and institutional reform and curriculum development issues. Across the world, graduate programs in educational administration began in 1956 at the University of Alberta in Canada, in the 1960s at the Institute of Education at the University of London, and in 1967 at Victoria University in New Zealand.

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Implications of the 2011 U.S. Survey of Doctoral Education in Leadership Preparation

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Implications of the 2011 U.S. Survey of Doctoral Education in Leadership Preparation

Margaret Terry Orr

ABSTRACT: As the number of U.S. doctoral educational leadership programs and graduates has increased dramatically in recent years, there is not only more attention to the purpose, design, and assessment for degrees but also more criticisms over the lack of differentiation between the PhD and the EdD. A group of scholars analyzed the results of a survey of 103 U.S. institutions to examine current programs, and they found modest differences in preparation for the two types of doctorates but positive influences from current efforts to redesign the EdD for professional practice, particularly for the dissertation. The scholars call for further research on program design, the impetus and challenges of degree change, and attention to related issues of faculty and student diversity and the role of the field. This article summarizes these findings and draws further implications on the need for case studies and models of degree programs that are coherently redesigned around the different purposes of research and advanced practice beyond the dissertation.

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