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Jspr Vol 35-N3

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The Journal of School Public Relations is a quarterly publication providing research, analysis, case studies and descriptions of best practices in six critical areas of school administration: public relations, school and community relations, community education, communication, conflict management/resolution, and human resources management. Practitioners, policymakers, consultants and professors rely on the Journal for cutting-edge ideas and current knowledge. Articles are a blend of research and practice addressing contemporary issues ranging from passing bond referenda to building support for school programs to integrating modern information.

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Notes From the Editors

ePub

SUSAN SCHRAMM-PATE
KENNETH VOGLER

“Doctoral Education Today” is a special themed issue of the Journal of School Public Relations that addresses the concerns and debates concerning contemporary doctoral education´s sociopolitical, cultural, organizational, pedagogical, and economic contexts. Increasingly, higher education is transitioning to a client-sensitive world, and doctoral education at some institutions is at the forefront of this reform. In addition to debates surrounding traditional doctoral programs with the traditional five-chapter dissertation is the reconceptualization of the EdD. The 2011 national survey conducted by the University Council for Educational Administration’s Taskforce on Evaluating Leadership Preparation Programs of University Based Doctoral Programs in the United States describes, for example, that newly redesigned EdD programs at several influential universities (e.g., Vanderbilt University, Virginia Commonwealth University, University of Denver, University of Central Florida, and University of Connecticut) have moved toward what the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED) consortium refers to as a dissertation in practice. These types of dissertations are strategically focused on the promotion of the inclusion of educational practitioners in the preK–20 educational system. The CPED’s resolve is aimed at ensuring that the professional practice education doctorate has a purpose and culture that are not only distinct from a traditional research-focused degree but are also underpinned by conceptions of intellectualism and research rigor.

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Can the Dissertation in Practice Bridge the Researcher–Practitioner Gap? The Education Professional Practice Doctorate and the Impact of the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate Consortium

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VALERIE A. STOREY
KRISTINA A. HESBOL

ABSTRACT: This article examines the evolution of the dissertation in practice: the capstone effort from the doctoral program of the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate consortium. The project represents professional practice programs that endeavor to design and implement alternative dissertation-in-practice models to the traditional five-chapter research study. The article assists in the identification of the conditions that facilitate or obstruct the transition toward alternative dissertation models and the impact of the consortium on the researcher–practitioner gap.

Early in the 19th century, the gap between scholarly research and practitioner implementation was recognized as a major problem. Consequently, in 1826, scientists in London established the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge to disseminate innovative work in the fields of science, literature, history, and ethics to the general public (Smith, 1972). Almost 200 years later, the gap between educational research and practical usability of advanced knowledge continues to be identified as a crucial issue (Dagenais, Abrami, Bernard, Janosz, & Lysenko, 2008; Dagenais et al., 2012). According to Glaser, Lieberman, and Anderson (1997),

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Signature Practices for Redesigning the Practitioner’s EdD for School Superintendents

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MARK WASICSKO
MICHAEL CHIRICHELLO
JAMES G. ALLEN

ABSTRACT: In this article, we describe the development and implementation of an innovative executive EdD program for practicing school superintendents in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. We detail seven signature design features and discuss how this innovative program fits within the context of recent and emerging changes in doctoral education. This program focuses on practice informed by research, connects with the daily work of school superintendents, avoids isolation through a networked environment, and develops the leaders’ knowledge, skills, and dispositions. It integrates seven signature practices that move the EdD from a “PhD-lite” researcher’s degree to a practitioner’s degree infused with real puzzles of practice and one in which our learning associates (what we call our candidates) emerge from the experience as more effective leaders and people.

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Implementing an Online Professional Practice Doctoral Program in a PhD Environment: Managing the Dilemmas

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ALYSON ADAMS
ELIZABETH BONDY
DORENE ROSS
NANCY FICHTMAN DANA
BRIANNA KENNEDY-LEWIS

ABSTRACT: As EdD programs are revised across the United States, it is important to understand how the development of innovative approaches to these degrees gains traction in higher education settings, especially those with a history of traditional PhD preparation. In this article, we describe the creation of a job-embedded online EdD program designed as a professional practice doctorate for full-time education practitioners. The nature of the program, the challenges that we have confronted, and our emerging strategies for addressing challenges contribute to the conversation about changing paradigms of doctoral preparation.

The number of professional doctorates in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia has skyrocketed in the past 50 years. Kot and Hendel (2011) attempted to summarize characteristics of professional doctorates and the ways in which these programs differ from the PhD, only to conclude that professional doctorates are varied in nature and elude a standard definition. Nevertheless, several features have surfaced in large-scale reviews of professional doctorate programs. These include the focus on creating and applying knowledge in specific contexts, the development of “researching professionals” (as opposed to “professional researchers”), and the requirement of significant professional experience (p. 4). In fact, in Australia, the professional doctorate was “conceived as an ‘in-service’ program aiming at professional development” of practicing professionals (p. 11).

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Research Genres as Knowledge Practices: Experiences in Writing Doctoral Dissertations in Different Formats

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THOMAS DE LANGE
ANNE LINE WITTEK

ABSTRACT: This work discusses articles versus monographs as routes toward the doctoral degree and the challenges of writing within these formats. Two stories are presented from candidates reflecting on their experiences. These stories are analyzed and discussed in relation to the conceptions of academic genres, Vygotskian notions of learning, and writing as identity formation. Dissimilarities between monograph- and article-based dissertations are discussed in regard to time, maturation, focus, feedback influences, and contributions to different writing and learning experiences. This study concludes by articulating the need to develop greater awareness of genre demands and learning in dissertation writing.

Learning in higher education involves adapting to new ways of understanding, interpreting, and organizing knowledge. This article discusses how the process of writing a doctoral dissertation engages these complexities. Our main analytical focus is on the different genre pathways represented by monograph- and article-based dissertations because these represent two very different points of entrance to mastering academic genres. The questions that we pose, in this respect, are the following:

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Connected or Conflicted? Doctoral Students’ Evolving Perceptions of the Teaching–Research Relationship

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MICHELLE A. MAHER
JOANNA A. GILMORE
DAVID F. FELDON
TELESIA E. DAVIS

ABSTRACT: For doctoral students aspiring to a faculty career, perceiving connections between the core faculty activities of teaching and conducting research is essential for professional success. Using the conceptual lens of professional socialization, we explored how doctoral students’ experiences concurrently serving as teachers and researchers influenced perceptions of the teaching–research relationship. We used semilongitudinal interview data from two early career doctoral students who began and ended an academic year with markedly changed perceptions of the teaching–research relationship. Findings pinpoint the importance of the faculty supervisor’s stance toward the teaching–research relationship and departmental practices related to teaching and research assignments.

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