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Course Titles and Descriptions

Leadership and Learning

Adult Development and Transformative Learning

EDD 702 (3.0 Credits)

This course will focus on how leaders use their knowledge of the stages of adult development and learning to transform the classroom teaching and learning process. Changes in adulthood, concepts of maturity, learning theories, personality development, cognitive learning and thinking, creativity, interests and attitudes, motivation, self-concept, learning styles and their implications for the classroom will be the primary focus of this course. In addition, this course will examine the issues, strategies, and methods for facilitating adult learning and transforming their habits of mind through critical self-reflection and discourse that foster transformative learning in classroom settings.

Learning through Experience: Individuals and Organizations

EDD 706 (3.0 Credits)

The purpose of this course is to explore the nature of experiential learning processes in promoting change and growth in both professionals and the professions. The research literature associated with experiential learning will be used to explore the nature of experiential learning, where it occurs, how we experience it, how we think about it, and how we can use the environment to enhance it. Course content includes 1) readings related to action in the professions, such as improvement science, network improvement communities, action research, and participatory action research; and 2) a survey of topics associated with the thinking processes associated with active approaches to learning, such as reflection, design thinking, creativity, innovation, and semiotics.

Transformative Leadership

Leadership, Diversity and Equity

EDD 710 (3.0 Credits)

American and international institutions of education continue to face the challenge of promoting access and equity for a diverse educational community of stakeholders. The increase in diversity throughout the world requires educational leaders to explore and understand the issues and learn how to advance diversity and equity. Race and ethnicity, social class, and gender will serve as initial topics for the course. Students will learn how their local, national, and international colleagues have struggled (and succeeded) in advancing equity and inclusion. Students also will be given an opportunity to explore other dimensions of diversity. Class discussions will center on current and world situations regarding educating a diverse population, and the efforts aimed at improving equity throughout the world.

International Leadership Models

EDD 712 (3.0 Credits)

This course will compare leadership practices in different areas of the world by examining education from an international/comparative perspective. The intent of the course is to provide students the framework for examining and evaluating contemporary education issues comparatively. The idea is for students to gain a better understanding of how education dilemmas, theories, methods, and models transcend national boundaries. In this way, students will be able to fine tune their analytical skills, increase their understanding from a comparative perspective of the linkages through different mediums, improve their perception of cultural, historical, and philosophical considerations as they relate to a variety of pedagogical situations, gain a practical understanding of the role of education in different economies, and gain a historical view of life in different societies related to the role of education.

Leadership and Change

EDD 714 (3.0 Credits)

This course focuses on developing critical skills related to leading and managing a learning organization. Practical approaches to decision-making, authority, power and influence, school culture, communication, problem solving and dilemma management will be addressed. Management of personnel and facilities will also be covered. This course will engage students in applying fundamental leadership and management knowledge and skills. Students will discuss and analyze a broad range of “real world” problems and dilemmas using current case studies, in basket challenges and information from the students’ individual schools/districts. This course addresses the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (formerly ISLLC) especially Standard 3: An education leader promotes the success of every student by ensuring management of the organization, operation, and resources for a safe, efficient, and effective learning environment.

Practicum in Executive Leadership

EDD 716 (3.0 Credits)

Prerequisite: Principal’s Certificate, EDL 589

Issues, principles, and responsibilities of the executive leader at the district level are the focus of this course. This Executive Leadership Practicum provides opportunities for doctoral candidates to engage in leadership-related, authentic, supervised field experiences in approved settings. By working under the mentorship of an administrator (in a school setting this would be a superintendent or assistant superintendent), candidates will be immersed in the realities of practice and leadership skills that create effective schools. Moving beyond managerial tasks, doctoral candidates will explore leadership issues related to organizational culture, achievement, and positive interactions with various stakeholders. Seminar sessions will provide candidates with an opportunity to share experiences with peers as well as analyze case studies and decide upon effective courses of action. Doctoral candidates will gain varied leadership perspectives through a variety of experiences including interviewing specific office personnel, attending management level meetings, and interacting with top level administrators during roundtable/panel discussions. Learning activities are field-based and research driven, reflect the School of Education’s Conceptual Framework, and are linked to the leadership paradigm advocated by the Educational Leadership Constituent Consortium (ELCC).

Policy and Procedures

Contemporary Issues in Education

EDD 720 (3.0 Credits)

This course is designed to extend the doctoral learners’ understanding of contemporary issues in education. Learners will examine current and emerging issues in education as well as trending topics impacting teaching, leadership and learning. Learners will analyze the following topics: inclusion of diverse learners in American schools; demographic shifts; poverty and affluence; globalization; technology and social media; data-based decision making; and recent research on student achievement with specific emphasis on subgroup performance.

Education Law and Policy P-12

EDD 721 (3.0 Credits)

Provides the state and federal legal foundations for U.S. public schools, examines general principles of statutory and case law, and applies judicial decisions to educational environments. This course will examine many current legal and policy issues in local and national elementary and secondary education, including school finance litigation; school discipline and the rise of “Zero Tolerance” policies; bullying prevention and intervention; cyber-bullying; LGBT bias; educator evaluation systems; and special education; in addition to other topics that may arise during the course. Students will be able to use current education law and legal precedents to make effective educational leadership decisions in the areas of student’s rights, academic freedom, religion and education, discipline, discrimination, negotiations and special education. This course is designed to provide current and future school leaders with the knowledge and skills they will need to make sound decisions, advance important educational objectives, and minimize legal problems.

Leading Digital Learning and Innovation in Education

EDD 722 (3.0 Credits)

The purpose of this course is to investigate and analyze the theories of disruptive innovation in leading continuous school transformation. Additionally, this course will enable students to practice systemic solution, evaluation, design and development associated with integrating emerging innovations in education. The research literature associated with digital learning will be used to explore the nature of digital learning, where it occurs, how we experience it, how we think about it, and how we can use digital tools to enhance learning. Course content includes 1) readings related to action in the profession, such as disruptive innovation, leading change in self-organized networks, action research, and participatory action research; and 2) a survey of topics associated with the thinking processes associated with active approaches to learning, such as reflection, design thinking, creativity, and school innovation.

Organizational Leadership Theory & Research

EDD 724 (3.0 Credits)

Organizational Leadership Theory and Research in education will examine the study, practice, and theory of educational leadership by exploring organizational change theories and analyzing tools necessary for leading system wide change. Students will explore systems within organizations that promote or hinder the change process. Within this course, students will enhance their understanding of educational organizations and construct an organizational change project within his/her own school or district.

Research and Assessment

Advanced Program Analysis

EDD 750 (3.0 Credits)

This course will examine the key concepts, methods, and approaches in the field of evaluation research, and program development. It is designed to be taken in conjunction with the Transformative Leadership Dissertation for doctoral students and will support the candidate’s plan development. Students will be exposed to the fundamental practices in educational program evaluation as well as the process of using evaluations to make decisions on the implementation of new programs or on the continuation of existing programs. They will also engage in best research practices and data driven assessment that is unique to each candidate’s particular district. Some statistical analysis, combined with a comprehensive range of activities involved in designing and implementing educational programs will be the primary focus of the course. This course will also present students with the larger political, administrative, and financial issues that occur in program evaluation.

Quantitative Research

EDD 752 (3.0 Credits)

The course will explore quantitative approaches to educational research. Course content includes a survey of educational research methodologies and their associated approaches to controlling bias, establishing validity, analyzing data, and drawing conclusions. Participants will be reading works by practitioners, researchers and academics about the process of practitioner research and the specific questions and issues that have been investigated through practitioner research. Activities will include searches through the existing research literature, experiences designed to develop a basic understanding of educational research, and group discussions that both facilitate the critical analysis of research designs and consider the philosophical assumptions of competing research traditions. The course is intended to provide candidates with guided practice in reflection and practice. It is also intended to provide significant preparation for the Transformative Leadership Project required for completion of the doctoral degree.

Leadership and Assessment

EDD 754 (3.0 Credits)

This course focuses on understanding the relationship between the leadership of effective schools, the theory and practice relevant to assessments, and the use of data to inform decision-making. The goal is to foster a doctoral candidate’s responsibility to advocate for and inform the culture of teaching and learning in schools through the implementation of varied assessments to measure students performance. The use of best practices in assessment selection, implementation, and data analysis that is unique to each candidate’s school, in conjunction with a variety of activities focused on data analysis and assessment research will be the primary focus of the course. This course is designed to focus on student achievement and service to diverse student populations, implementation of the standards, research-based pedagogical innovations, and successful use of summative and formative assessment measures. Current models used to assess students’ learning will be examined, including the use of performance criteria. Students will develop instruction and assessment plans to be implemented in their own organizational settings. These plans must show the alignment of instruction and assessment to student learning outcomes.

Qualitative Research Methods

EDD 756 (3.0 Credits)

This course will introduce participants to the characteristics and various approaches in designing and conducting qualitative research projects in educational research. Students will become familiar with various research methods, including survey research, interviewing, participant observation, case studies, comparative analysis, and the use of documentary/primary sources. In addition, this course will show students how to evaluate published studies in various social science fields, focusing on the logic of their argument, their methodologies, and the relationship between the evidence presented and their argument. As part of the course, students will gain hands-on experience in various qualitative methods and analysis techniques while conducting a research project.

Transformative Leadership Project

Research Design

EDD 801 (3.0 Credits)

The transformative learning project courses provide opportunities for doctoral candidates to engage in leadership-related, authentic, action-research experiences in approved settings. Balancing theory with practice, working under the mentorship of an Educational Leadership Professor and in collaboration with a superintendent or assistant superintendent, candidates will be immersed in the realities of practice and hone their research skills while solving relevant, school-based challenges. Doctoral candidates will utilize the design process in order to identify an organizational challenge, create a solution, implement, measure, and redesign as appropriate. In addition to guiding students through an action research project, this course will address theoretical, philosophical, and epistemological questions around action research. We will discuss the tradeoffs that come with action research compared to more traditional research—how can insider status better inform research, and what might be lost in comparison to traditional research methods. How can the action research framework better solve organizational problems, and on the other hand what insights may be lost by focusing on a single organization’s questions or problems?

Writing for Professional Publication in Education

EDD 802 (3.0 Credits)

This course is designed to introduce doctoral students to the professional publication process. Students will engage in two major activities during the course: 1) learning how to organize a dissertation to fulfill the program requirements for the transformative learning project and 2) to write an article for professional publication. To meet the first requirement, students will revise their three-chapter project proposal created during EDD 801 Research Design, make a formal project proposal for the second year of the program to the dissertation committee, and learn how to write chapters 4 and 5 of the dissertation. To meet the second requirement, EdD students will become familiar with editorial policies of relevant periodicals, identify various professional publication outlets, and review manuscripts using professional editorial criteria. The course will culminate in a finished manuscript submitted for publication.

Design-Based Research

EDD 803 (3.0 Credits)

This course has two main purposes. First, it introduces students to different design-based research methods in educational research. Second, it provides students with an intensive experience in carrying out their own design-based research studies. Through a combination of readings, lectures, demonstrations, discussions, site visits and class exercises, students will be introduced to the issues and practices associated with design-based research and how different researchers engage in this kind of work. By learning about the work of different researchers, students will also be introduced to distinct forms of design-based research in education. In their transformative learning project, students will apply what they have learned about the design and execution of design-based research studies.

Analyzing and Interpreting Data

EDD 804 (3.0 Credits)

This course is designed to immerse doctoral students in the analysis of interpretation of data. Students will engage in the examination of data related to their transformative learning project. During the course, students will present and explain their research findings, outline Chapters Four & Five of their dissertation, and write a preliminary and final draft for chapters Four and Five of their dissertation. They will also deliver a professional presentation of their defense in preparation for their oral dissertation defense. The primary outcome of the course will be the completion of Chapters Four and Five of the dissertation.

Special Topics

EDD 798 (3.0 Credits)

Permission of the Program Director is required.

The subject matter varies with the interest of the students and the professor teaching the course. The exact nature covered in any given semester is indicated in the student’s transcript.

Independent Study

EDD 799 (3.0 Credits)

Written evaluation of the research is required.

Independent research in education in an area not substantially treated in a regular course offering under the supervision of an Education faculty member.

Special Topics

EDD 898 (3.0 Credits)

Permission of the Program Director is required.

The subject matter varies with the interest of the students and the professor teaching the course. The exact nature covered in any given semester is indicated in the student’s transcript.

Independent Study

EDD 899 (3.0 Credits)

Written evaluation of the research is required.

Independent research in education in an area not substantially treated in a regular course offering under the supervision of an Education faculty member.

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