Dissertation Models

Report
Dissertation Models in
the RSOE Ed.D. Program
Robert Rueda
Fall 2013
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)
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
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)
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
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)
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.
A Range Of Inquiry Types
Research Types in the Ed. D. Program
Purpose
Theory
Origin of a Problem
Researcher’s Role
Practitioner’s Role
Benefit to Participants
Methodology
Level
Case Study
Client
Perspective
Research Sample
Collaboration
Generalizability
Standard for Judging
Goal
Dissemination
Knowledge Type
Need IRB Approval?
New Knowledge
Research (Ph. D. Model)
Evaluation and
Problem Solving
Research (Ed. D.)
Promising Practices Research
(Ed. D.)
Generalizable/Transferable Knowledge
Explanatory or Interpretive
Scientific Literature
Expert
Consumer of Research
Minimal
Qualitative or Quantitative
Individual(s) or Organization (s)
Sometimes
Scholars in Like Disciplines
Outsider
Random or Purposeful
None or a Few Other Experts
Defining Characteristic
Intellectual Rigor
Publishable Article
Refereed Paper or Article
Universal
Yes
Improvement of Practice
Theory of Action
Practice
Facilitator
Producer of Research
Yes
Mixed
A Single Organization
Always
Local Community
Insider or Participant
Local Setting
Many Collaborators
Minimal or None
Impact in a Local Setting
Improvement @ Local level
Oral or Written Report (s)
Local
No, NFHSR
Identify Promising Practices
Theory of Action
Practice
Observer
Producer of Research
Minimal
Mixed
A Single Organization
Always
Scholars and Practitioners
Outsider
Purposeful
None or a Few Other Experts
Transferable to similar settings
Quality of Extrapolations
Transferable New Knowledge
Oral or Written Report (s)
Transferable Extrapolations
Yes
Some Dissertation of Practice Format Types
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Consultancy model
Thematic
Traditional 5-chapter
Three article design
Policy brief/analysis
Evaluation
Other
How Do the EdD and Phd Degrees Differ?
DNP
PhD
Goal
Preparation of leaders in practice
Preparation of nurse scientists
Research focus
Application of research to practice, Discovery of new knowledge
innovations in care
Outcome
Leadership in practice
Careers in academia and other
research-intensive environments
Hallmark of educational program
Mentorship in the highest level of
nursing practice
Mentorship in research
Final program product
Practice-oriented final scholarly
project
Dissertation based on original
research
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
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
Single Chair, Individual Study, Not Connected to
Thematic Group
Chair
Individual
Study
Thematic Group - Single Chair, Common Theme,
Different Research Questions within the Theme
Common
Theme
Individual
Study 1
Individual
Study 1
Individual
Study 1
Product = single author dissertation
Individual
Study 1
Individual
Study 1
Thematic Group - Single Chair, Problem-Solving
Consultant Approach, Team Structure
Member
1
Member
1
Member
1
Team
Team
Team
Member
2
Member
3
Member
2
Member
3
Member
2
Member
3
Product = Report with single-author and joint author sections, main target is school,
District, or organization, may include supplemental material such as Powerpoints
Single Chair, Single Topic, Common
Questions & Methodology, Individual
Studies
Single Common Topic
Individual
Study 1
Individual
Study 1
Individual
Study 1
Product = single author dissertations
Individual
Study 1
Individual
Study 1
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
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
Thank You
Questions
For additional resources - http://dissertationedd.usc.edu/
DSC contact information – [email protected] or (213)740-8099

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