Investing in our Education: Leading, Learning, Researching and the Doctorate: Volume 13

Subject:

Table of contents

(19 chapters)
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Purpose

The purpose of this chapter is to introduce the role of the doctorate as an investment in education, and to consider whose education is being invested in, how and why. We examine the role of postgraduate research within the doctorate and how this may contribute to a self-improving profession, self-improving educational institutions and self-improving education systems.

Methodology/approach

The methodology is the representation of different chapters from authors that explore the key themes that we introduce in this chapter.

Findings

We present the three main findings from a British Educational Leadership, Management and Administration Doctoral Research Interest Group seminar series funded by the British Educational Leadership, Management and Administration Society (BELMAS). First is the progression of a systemic basis for active educational research, engaged with the mobilization of learning-based and pedagogic knowledge leadership within doctoral scholarship, learning and pedagogy. Second is the continued examination of the internationalization of purpose, structure and function in doctoral study through evidence informed leadership. Third is the provision of opportunities to explore ways in which doctoral study may facilitate educational leaders to recognize ‘minoritised’ and marginalized communities, and disrupt dominant discourses that work within patterns of ecologies that ‘pathologise’ diversity and difference.

Originality/value

Here, a clearly stated focus emerged during the seminar series, emphasizing how leaders engaging with doctoral learning have the opportunity to articulate generative transformative theories of human learning for a civic curriculum, and to apply this new knowledge to work for change for students’ full economic, cultural and political participation in the society.

Abstract

This is a conceptual paper. I argue that knowledge-construction, or learning in a profession, has changed with the introduction of professional doctorates, though the divide between these new forms of doctoral study and the older and more established forms such as the PhD are now not as wide as they once were. In particular, three elements of the knowledge-construction process are implicated here. The first of these is a move towards learning environments which prioritise situated-theoretical applications of the theory-practice relationship at the expense of technical-empiricist, technical-rational, multi-methodological and multi-discursive variants. The second is movement towards different sites of learning, so that instead of the knowledge-construction process taking place exclusively in universities or institutes of higher education, the workplace is now central to the construction of learning environments. And the third is the development of new types of knowledge-construction, and these are now acting to reframe relationships between the professions and the state. This has resulted in forms of deprofessionalisation, with some professions in the United Kingdom and other parts of the world experiencing significant losses of autonomy and independence in relation to ownership of their specialized bodies of knowledge and skills, control of the means for credentialising these bodies of knowledge, and renegotiated professional mandates, leading to restrictions on their capacity to determine for themselves these specialized bodies of knowledge and those learning environments in which practitioners acquire them.

Purpose

This chapter provides a retrospective and prospective exploration of some of the challenges faced by doctoral education, specifically as they relate to advanced studies of educational administration (EA).

Methodology

It applies a critical stance to the current status of knowledge in the ‘leadership field’ and the intellectual underpinnings that inform the studies available as reference for doctoral students.

Findings

Nested within wider changing conditions for university and doctoral education, it is argued that the published field as currently constituted suffers from both banal and ‘non-wicked’ leadership orthodoxies that might lead to doctoral stagnation.

Practical implications

Reasons are suggested and prospects considered for revitalising scholarship for the upcoming generation of EA alumni, scholars and practitioners.

Purpose

This chapter looks critically at the changed language of education due to the adoption in the last two or three decades of a ‘business model’ for improving education. It briefly traces the history of these changes which have rarely been brought to the attention of the public.

Methodology

This chapter delves more deeply beneath this language in order to explore the unacknowledged philosophical assumptions – referring to Wittgenstein’s aim which was to help people to pass from a piece of disguised nonsense to the recognition of it being patent nonsense.

Findings

This points out how, given the managerial language, this distorts our understanding of what it means to educate – there is an inappropriate ‘logic of action’.

Originality

The ethical dimension to educational leadership gets distorted or ignored. There is a need therefore to examine more carefully what is meant by an ‘educational practice’ – otherwise leadership coursed might be good at teaching ‘effectiveness’ in teaching to the test, but have little to do with education.

Purpose

This chapter focuses on the impact of digitization on the conception, development and examination of the doctoral thesis in the contemporary university.

Methodology

The approach taken is that of reflective inquiry. The author has taken a lead role in the editing of two handbooks for Sage: one on e-learning research and the other on the digital dissertation/thesis, and this chapter reflects on the changes taking place in higher education as a result of digitization. A number of examples are used to illustrate the possibilities afforded by digitization not only at doctoral levels but also in all dissertations.

Findings

It is proposed that digitization affects not only the conception and direction of doctoral research for the student but it has implications also for supervisors, those who ‘upgrade’ work from MPhil to PhD levels and also for examiners and librarians. Changes in the format of the presentation of the digital thesis allow moving image and sound, as well as still images, to be incorporated into the main body of the text rather than be relegated to an appendix (e.g. in a CD-Rom). The storage of the completed thesis in digital form, via a number of different repositories, allows for greater access and use.

Research implications

One of the major implications of the digital thesis is that all universities must regularly re-visit their regulations to ensure that the parameters for doctoral research are clear, and that they are appropriate for the kind of research that is undertaken by students. Many universities are now making a digital copy of the thesis for principal submission, with print copies as optional.

Originality and significance

Consideration of the implications of the digital thesis for students and universities is essential not only in terms of knowledge creation but also in terms of validation of such knowledge and its dissemination and use.

Purpose

This chapter approaches the topic of teaching the Western scholarly tradition in non-Western countries like the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from three perspectives employing the following metaphors: as a Public Servant motivated by public service to the goals and aims of the country’s development articulated by UAE rulers and its citizens; as Cultural Diplomat, representing the Western tradition and its scholarly achievements while respecting other traditions; and as Intellectual Imperialist, aiming at a colonising incorporation of the UAE into the Western academic world.

Methodology/approach

The main methodology adopted is the Weberian ideal type, located within a comparative and historical context that produces the metaphors as analytically possible perspectives as a western expatriate faculty member. Additional critique is drawn from Bourdieu, Said, Freire, Giroux, Foucault, Goffman and cross-cultural organisation studies.

Findings

The findings consist of an analytic framework consisting of public servant, cultural diplomat and intellectual imperialist as a set of conceptions for analysing possible orientations of Western expatriate academics in developing countries.

Social implications

The implications are threefold: on a personal level, what experientially does each of the metaphors mean for one’s sense of identity, profession, values and relationships; on a pedagogical level, what principles and values distinguish the curriculum and teaching styles as well as orientation to Arab and Islamic scholarship; and politically, what is the potential impact and unintended consequences for the indigenous culture, sovereignty and societal survival of a country under the heavy influence of globalisation. The contention of this chapter is that one cannot avoid adopting one or more of these roles and may even perform in contradictory ways.

Originality/value

The originality is in establishing a new set of analytic categories drawing on post-colonial, diplomacy and critical studies.

Purpose

The purpose of this chapter is to determine whether graduate classes in deep democracy and social justice can actually effect change in educators’ leadership practice.

Methodology/approach

This chapter draws on a survey of all doctoral students in educational leadership from a major research university who were concurrently school principals. From those willing to engage in follow-up, surveys were conducted of their teachers, and follow-up interviews and observations were conducted with the principals themselves.

Findings

We identified six main themes; courses related to deep democracy and social justice brought about deeper understanding of the topics, helped leaders acquire language and “new paradigms,” sometimes caused confusion and a sense of being overwhelmed by the challenges, assisted leaders to engage staff in dialogue, and prompted action related to social justice. Leaders also sometimes experienced a sense of being alone as they engaged in a difficult struggle.

Practical implications

The findings highlighted the need for instructors to walk “alongside” their students as they tried to change their practices, to become critical friends and to offer on-site support.

Research implications

Findings also highlight the importance of teaching both theory and practical applications together. Further research about the pedagogies that make this possible is needed.

Social implications

If graduate coursework can impact leaders’ practice, it can effect changes in schools so they become more welcoming and inclusive of all students so that those who come from minoritized or disadvantaged backgrounds may experience greater school success.

Originality/value of chapter

Demonstrating a link between graduate coursework and the ability of school leaders to emphasize social justice, equity and deep democracy in their practice is not only original but extremely important.

Purpose

This chapter focuses on the dispositions and values of The Education Doctorate (Ed.D.) students in England and the United States as they conducted research, graduated, and entered their work communities.

Methods

We will present a brief review of the history of the Ed.D. and an explanation of signature pedagogy, which leads to a consideration of values, particularly as they relate to the connection between the researcher and the community. A synthesis of Banks (1991, 1998) description of the researcher’s position and stages of ethnic development provide a framework to analyze the experience of a doctoral student in England and a doctoral student in the United States.

Findings

The leaders developed multicultural dispositions through doctoral pedagogies that included the supervised creation of a doctoral thesis in a Higher Education Institution with access to resources. The resources included pedagogical relationships with program providers, a library and access to intellectual networks that built leadership capacity within the doctoral education system. Leaders designing and implementing their research and drafting and redrafting their doctoral thesis, engaged with pedagogies that developed a deep understanding of “what counts as evidence,” and critical and reflective thinking tools that enhanced their multicultural dispositions and habits of hearts, minds and hands.

Practical and social implications

The findings may contribute to informing decisions to invest in the doctoral dividend, policy and a research agenda into doctoral pedagogies.

Original value

New insights into the benefits of educational leaders investing in the doctoral dividend are revealed.

Purpose

There is a dearth of literature dealing with Islamic education that embeds the notion of democratic citizenship education for at least two reasons: firstly, democratic citizenship education is not always considered as commensurable with Islamic education and secondly, Islamic education is aimed at producing just persons, whereas democratic citizenship education aims to engender responsible citizens.

Methodology/approach

My approach is philosophical/analytical and argumentative.

Findings

I argue that the two concepts do not have to be considered as mutually exclusive and that cultivating just persons invariably involves producing responsible persons. Hence, as my first argument I show that through the practices of Islamic education, which is just action (ijtihād), deliberative engagement (shūrā) and recognition of the other (ta`āruf), democratic citizenship education has the potential to enhance the pursuit of a doctorate on the basis that the latter connects with multiple forms of enactment. My second argument relates to offering some sceptical encounters with a doctoral candidate, in particular showing how just action (ijtihād), deliberative engagement (shūrā) and recognition of the other (ta`āruf) were manifested in our encounters. Drawing on the seminal thoughts of Stanley Cavell (1997), particularly his ideas on ‘living with scepticism’, I argue that doctoral supervision in the knowledge fields of democratic citizenship education and Islamic education ought to be an encounter framed by scepticism.

Research limitations

Although I combine philosophical and narrative inquiry, I do not consistently accentuate various dimensions of the latter – that is, narrative inquiry, as well as drawing on other cases of my supervision.

Practical implications

I envisage that the commensurability argued for between democratic citizenship education and Islamic education can impact the supervision of doctoral candidates.

Originality/value

I point out that supervising students sceptically might engender moments of acknowledging humanity within the Other (autonomous action or ijtihād), experiencing attachment to the Other’s points of view with a readiness for departure (deliberative engagement or shūrā) and showing responsibility to the Other (recognition of the other or ta`āruf). In turn, I show how sceptical encounters along the lines of autonomous action, deliberative engagement and responsibility towards the other connect, firstly, with liberal education and secondly, the possibilities of such encounters for Muslims involved in advocating for just and/or responsible action.

Purpose

The purpose of this chapter, which is a response to calls to examine students’ perspectives of the doctoral experience, is to investigate the notion that doctoral education facilitates developing nodes in leading networks of knowledge for leader and leadership development – a theme that has not been examined.

Design/methodology/approach

Using data generated from in-depth interviews embedded with excerpts of personal life stories and the questionnaire, this qualitative study analyses the views of some African students about their experiences of doctoral study in the United Kingdom.

Findings

The study discovered that doctoral education is perceived as: acquisition of knowledge and capabilities for professional leadership trajectories; creator of learning communities, networks and relationship resources; developing nodes in leading knowledge networks; progression from the self to the relational and to the collective; and action learning, all for leader and leadership development.

Originality/value

Drawing on the findings, the chapter argues for the novel notion of doctoral education as developing nodes within leading networks of knowledge for leader and leadership development.

Research limitations/implications

Although, the research is a qualitative study that focused on a small group of students in one university, and as a result, its findings cannot be generalised, its implication for doctoral agendas worldwide and Africa and its Agenda 2063, in particular, need consideration.

Purpose

This chapter explores how different aspects of middle manager identity relate to knowledge, research and practice. It argues that effective leadership depends more upon the person than the role.

Methodology/approach

Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 14 middle managers at a single school of healthcare in a research-intensive, chartered UK university.

Findings

The middle managers revealed both core and situated identities. Their core selves included various personality traits such as curiosity, a competitive streak, optimism, sociability and a sense of humour. Their situated selves were shaped by socialization, life history, critical people, and incidents and chance. In a symbiotic relationship with these core and situated components was a complex, tri-partite professional identity, as a healthcare professional, a higher education (HE) academic, and an education manager. All the participants greatly valued professional development and ongoing academic study.

Social implications

This chapter illustrates how the best postgraduate courses develop exemplary education managers/leaders. They do this not by giving students role-specific skills but by developing their analytical and critical thinking skills. Through a process of deep learning and experience, individuals undertaking a doctorate are able to develop into reflexive and reflective practitioners who can act with personal integrity.

Originality/value

Little has been published about the relationships between the career background, the identity and the role of a university middle manager, and virtually nothing from the field of healthcare. The figure presented in this chapter offers a new framework for understanding the relationship between self, professional identity and role.

Purpose

The purpose of this chapter is to consider a doctoral dividend in regard to leading, learning and researching.

Methodology

Our methodology is to analyse the chapters here presented and argue for key findings of the doctorate as an educational dividend. The doctorate yields a distinctive dividend in three important ways. First, it provides a strategic approach to purposes, processes and practices embedded in professional learning that is required for a profession committed to self-improving education systems to provide high quality learning opportunities for students in their local and globalized contexts culturally, economically and politically. Second, because it provides a valuable contribution to the knowledge economy and role models the discovery approach to knowledge generation. Third, it enables the profession to develop the knowledge, skills and experience required to engage with what counts for evidence when making decisions.

Findings

The profession can share these ways of thinking and doing with all stakeholders in communities of practice which move beyond students and staff within education systems.

Originality/value

The social implications are that the doctorate enables capacity building for professional, organizational and participant learning communities and networks, thus creating new and effective directions for knowledge creation, transformative learning and an understanding of quality in a local, national and international context.

About the Authors

Pages 249-258
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Index

Pages 259-270
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DOI
10.1108/S1479-3628201413
Publication date
2014-10-31
Book series
International Perspectives on Higher Education Research
Editors
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
ISBN
978-1-78441-132-9
eISBN
978-1-78441-131-2
Book series ISSN
1479-3628