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Dissertation Models in the RSOE Ed.D. Program Robert Rueda Fall 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "Dissertation Models in the RSOE Ed.D. Program Robert Rueda Fall 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 Dissertation Models in the RSOE Ed.D. Program Robert Rueda Fall 2013

2 Our Program Goal: What Are We Trying to Achieve? “Scholarly Practitioners blend practical wisdom with professional skills and knowledge to name, frame, and solve problems of practice. They use practical research and applied theories as tools for change because they understand the importance of equity and social justice. They disseminate their work in multiple ways, and they have an obligation to resolve problems of practice by collaborating with key stakeholders, including the university, the educational institution, the community, and individuals.” (CPED website)

3 Two Key Components Related to the Goal: Purposes of the EdD What are key components of the EdD that we expect students to be proficient in? – Problem solving framing problems of practice that are concrete, significant, and solvable, and tied to the mission and priorities of the organization Diagnosing and verifying underlying causes Leveraging research-based solutions – Inquiry Understanding and critically evaluating research & evidence Ability to investigate problems of practice, their causes, and solutions, with a variety of methods and approaches as appropriate

4 Inquiry: The Skills & Knowledge Needed for Problem-Solving “Inquiry as Practice is the process of posing significant questions that focus on complex problems of practice. By using various research, theories, and professional wisdom, scholarly practitioners design innovative solutions to address the problems of practice. At the center of Inquiry of Practice is the ability to use data to understand the effects of innovation. As such, Inquiry of Practice requires the ability to gather, organize, judge, aggregate, and analyze situations, literature, and data with a critical lens” (CPED website)

5 How Are These Competencies Expressed? Dissertations on problems of practice In the USC Program, we would expect dissertations of practice and capstones to exhibit the following characteristics – Addresses an educational issue – Focused on some aspect of urban education – Focuses on a significant problem of practice – Demonstrates proficiency in Inquiry skills and methods as appropriate to the problem

6 What is the Dissertation of Practice or Capstone? “Expectation is that students will prepare a scholarly project that demonstrates a synthesis of the student’s abilities, lay the groundwork for future practice scholarship, and demonstrate mastery of ability to frame and critically inquire in to a significant educational problem of practice.” (CPED website)

7 What is a “Problem of Practice”? A problem of practice is a problem or issue that emerges from an educational setting and whose resolution is significant to the practitioners in that setting or to those they serve or engage with. In the USC context, the focus is on urban environments, and the program admits students from K-12, higher education, and non-school organizational, agency, and other work settings where education is a focus, and thus the scope of problems of practice is wide. These problems of practice are distinguishable from problems that arise from a review of gaps in the research literature on an educational topic, or problems that are based primarily on extending current theory. This definition does not suggest that problems of practice are not of interest to theoreticians or that they are not amenable to the application of theory, nor does it suggest that theoretical problems are devoid of practical application. Rather, the distinction is based on the primary focus and emphasis.

8 A Range Of Inquiry Types

9 Some Dissertation of Practice Format Types Consultancy model Thematic Traditional 5-chapter Three article design Policy brief/analysis Evaluation Other

10 DNPPhD GoalPreparation of leaders in practicePreparation of nurse scientists Research focusApplication of research to practice, innovations in care Discovery of new knowledge OutcomeLeadership in practiceCareers in academia and other research-intensive environments Hallmark of educational programMentorship in the highest level of nursing practice Mentorship in research Final program productPractice-oriented final scholarly project Dissertation based on original research How Do the EdD and Phd Degrees Differ?

11 Inquiry as Common Ground It is an oversimplification to say that the PhD is a research degree and the EdD is a practice – Inquiry is important in both Inquiry in the service of generating new generalizable knowledge and theory development is a primary focus of the PhD Inquiry in the service of addressing or solving a significant problem of practice is a primary focus of the EdD

12 What are the current models? In the USC program, we employ a thematic group option While a small number of students do independent work with a chair, the majority of students participate in a thematic group This format was created both for reasons of efficiency but to build on the social nature of learning and collaboration skills which will be needed in future career work Some of the current configurations are outlined below

13 Individual Study Single Chair, Individual Study, Not Connected to Thematic Group Chair

14 Common Theme Individual Study 1 Individual Study 1 Individual Study 1 Individual Study 1 Individual Study 1 Thematic Group - Single Chair, Common Theme, Different Research Questions within the Theme Product = single author dissertation

15 Thematic Group - Single Chair, Problem-Solving Consultant Approach, Team Structure Team Member 2 Member 3 Member 2 Member 2 Member 3 Member 3 Member 1 Member 1 Member 1 Product = Report with single-author and joint author sections, main target is school, District, or organization, may include supplemental material such as Powerpoints

16 Single Chair, Single Topic, Common Questions & Methodology, Individual Studies Single Common Topic Individual Study 1 Individual Study 1 Individual Study 1 Individual Study 1 Individual Study 1 Product = single author dissertations

17 Non-negotiable Elements for Any Dissertation of Practice or Capstone The work includes a problem statement and framing of the approach, which establishes the rationale and significance of the work The current literature is used as a foundation for the work and approach at key points: framing the problem, synthesizing what is known about the problem, and informing the solutions and implications of the work The work is systematic and represents sufficient effort to serve as a capstone The product represents a contribution to urban educational practice The product and process serve as an opportunity to demonstrate the ability to apply theory and research to solving or informing an educational problem The work demonstrates the ability to present ideas and arguments and evidence in a logical, systematic, and coherent fashion in both written and oral formats

18 Additional Notes Dissertations of Practice vs. Capstones – this is not an either/or distinction – both are focused on significant educational issues and the primary audience is a specific educational setting or settings Both can be distinguished from PhD dissertations that focus primarily on creating new generalizable new knowledge and theory development Regarding inquiry coursework and experience – if you want to train practicing physicians, don’t train them to be medical researchers

19 Thank You Questions For additional resources - http://dissertationedd.usc.edu/ DSC contact information – rsoedsc@rossier.usc.edu or (213)740-8099


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