Graduates’ Continuing Work as Scholarly Practitioners after Participation in a Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate Guided, EdD Program
This paper examined whether, and how, graduates of an EdD program continued to (a) engage in scholarly practitioner efforts and (b) employ inquiry skills in their workplace settings after completion of their doctoral studies.
Little research has been conducted on follow-up of graduates of doctoral programs. The limited research that has been done, typically, was conducted to examine employment status and satisfaction, salary, and adequacy of preparation. Generally, studies have not explored the effects of graduates’ preparation on subsequent use of the skills.
A mixed method study was conducted. In all, 67 graduates completed an online questionnaire (~52% response rate) assessing their efforts with respect to using scholarly practitioner skills and inquiry skills. Eleven of the graduates were interviewed and these data were used to examine more closely graduates’ use of these skills. Graduates worked in various K-12, community college, university, and other education-related settings.
This study begins to fill the gap that exists with respect to examining the effects of graduates’ preparation on subsequent use of those skills. In particular, the study was conducted to examine whether and how program graduates continued to use scholarly practitioner and inquiry skills developed during their doctoral preparation in their subsequent professional work.
The quantitative and qualitative data indicated graduates continued to act as scholarly practitioners and engaged in inquiry skills. The interview data were particularly robust and replete with examples of how graduates used these skills/abilities in their workplaces.
EdD programs that provide affordances for students to apply skills as scholarly practitioners and employ inquiry as practice methods during students’ preparation will foster skills/abilities that can be applied in subsequent professional practice by educators after graduation.
Additional studies of graduates’ application of skills/abilities learned in doctoral programs are warranted because of the limited research that has been conducted in this area.
Developing educators’ scholarly practitioner skills and inquiry as practice methods will allow educators to more effectively attack the problems of practice they encounter on a daily basis and improve the educational situations of those they teach and serve.
A likely next step would be to explore the use of scholarly practice skills and inquiry skills using a case study approach to examine more closely how educators apply these skills/abilities in daily practice.