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International HETL Review

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Doctor of Education degree, Academic dissertations, Education -- Study and teaching (Graduate)


In 2007, 25 colleges and schools of education (Phase I) came together under the aegis of the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED) to transform doctoral education for education practitioners. A challenging aspect of the reform of the educational doctorate is the role and design of the dissertation or Dissertation in Practice. In response to consortium concerns, members of the CPED Dissertation in Practice Awards Committee conducted this action research study to examine the format and design of Dissertations in Practice submitted by (re) designed programs. Data were gathered with an online survey, interviews, analyses of 25 Dissertations in Practice submitted in 2013 to the Committee. Results indicated few changes occurred in the final product, despite evidence of change in the Dissertation in Practice process. Findings contribute to debates about the distinctive nature of EdDs (and of professional doctorates generally) as distinct from PhDs, and how about the key criteria for demonstrating “new knowledge to solve significant problems of practice” are demonstrated through the dissertation submission.


Originally appeared in International HETL Review, volume 5, 2015. May be found at

Copyright © 2015 V. A. Storey, M. M. Caskey, K. A. Hesbol, J. E. Marshall, B. Maughan and A. W. Dolan.

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