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The Professional Doctorate in Education - futures and challenges

Date(s) Tuesday 1 July 2003
Venue Regents College, London
Organised by ESCalate

The one day conference was attended by well over forty delegates from all over the UK. The majority worked on Professional Doctorates in Education but a few were there to learn about how such doctorates worked, with a view to implementing them in the future. The day included plenary sessions and workshops, as follows.

10.40am - 12 noon Plenary session

Professor Ingrid Lunt, London University Institute of Education and member of the Economic and Social Research Council Postgraduate Training Board spoke about 'Professional doctorates and their impact on professional development and careers' The presentation was partly based on an ESRC funded research project which looked at DBA, EdD and EngD programmes and considered the impact of the programmes on participants' and graduates' professional lives. While there were variations between the three professional doctorate programmes, the EngD participants and graduates showed distinctive features related to the nature of the programme, the nature of those participating in the programme, the nature of professional knowledge being developed and the nature of the research undertaken. These similarities and differences were discussed in relation to the challenges faced by the EdD in developing a research perspective on educational practice.

NB: Ingrid has also written a commissioned state of the art article on professional doctorates in Education for ESCalate


Assessment of and regulations for Professional doctorate in Education dissertations

(Professor Jacky Brine, Research Student Director, Faculty of Education, University of West of England). looked at 'what exit qualification are there /could there be for professional doctorate students who don't or can't complete the dissertation?'' what guidance needs to be given to external examiners for EdD dissertations?' and ' why do relatively few Professional doctorate in Education regulations mention professional practice as a dissertation criteria?'. Further development of this theme is to be found as a report from the ESCalate EdD project.

The Professional doctorate and the PhD - a comparison

(Professor Rosemary Deem, Graduate School of Education, University of Bristol, EdD tutor/supervisor and ESCalate Director). This session examined the extent to which Professional doctorates in Education were based on regulations, processes and procedures taken from the PhD and asked how sustainable this parallel system was in the longer term, given the way that the QAA Qualification Framework separates the two types of doctoral Education. Indeed it was argued the PhD itself was still mutating - e.g PhDs by prior or concurrent publication, the 'New Route' PhD etc.

Helping EdD students to become independent learners

(Dr Gabrielle Ivinson, EdD Director, School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University). This workshop examined the differences in student experience between cohort-based and non-cohort based professional doctorates in Education. It also considered the different types of support students need/receive/desire in each of these. Further development of this theme is to be found as a report from the ESCalate EdD project.

Delivering and developing EdD programmes overseas (sharing experiences and identifying issues)

(Professor Mal Leicester, EdD tutor, School of Continuing Education, Nottingham University). This workshop examined the similarities and differences between how overseas and UK programmes are organised and taught, from a director/tutor perspective. Further development of this theme is to be found as a report from the ESCalate EdD project.

3.10-4.30pm Plenary session:

Professor Miriam David, Director Social Sciences Graduate School, University of Keele gave a talk entitled 'Women and professional doctorates in Education'. The talk examined international as well as national developments in professional doctorates and the contributions of feminist theories and pedagogies to those developments in the context of the new knowledge economies.