Doctor of Education in Teacher Leadership

Program Description

As a concentration in a larger Ed.D. Program at Washington State University, the Teacher Leadership Doctorate has been designed to prepare K-16 teachers and practitioners for intellectual and practical leadership within classrooms, schools, districts, communities, teaching and/or community colleges, agencies, and the larger policy arena.

As part of a multi-campus program, students can access courses on one of four home campuses during the academic year. In order to develop collaborative opportunities across the cohort, all students participate in a two-week summer institute held on the Pullman campus. This combination of face-to-face and distance delivery models offers an opportunity for educators to develop support systems with peers and faculty throughout the state.

The program itself involves a total of 72 credit hours. The 42 graded credits are distributed within a minimum of five research courses, two educational foundation courses, at least five teacher leadership courses (two required and three each within a choice of four teacher leadership academic emphases), and additional electives.

In the research strand, students learn not only to become critical consumers of research and skilled analysts who are able to interpret, report, and make practical applications of data sets (e.g., MSP scores, AYP, etc.), but also to generate and write about theory and engage in dissertation work.

The Teacher Leadership strand provides students a common framework from which to examine past and current practices. Students take courses on inquiry into teaching and adult learning. They also select at least three additional courses that provided a current understanding of content knowledge from existing Ph.D. programs within the following areas: cultural/curriculum studies, English as a Second Language, math and science education, and/or special education.

In addition, students complete a minimum of 20 ungraded 800-level credits as they complete their preliminary exam, dissertation proposal, and actual dissertation. Students can choose from a range of dissertation types, including traditional written dissertations, to action research, to art-based dissertations. For additional credits, students may take ungraded internships or possibly receive credit for previously completed coursework.

Throughout the program, the emphasis is on helping working professionals to develop an inquiry stance toward the problems of and possibilities for education in their own settings, and to pursue inquiry through collaboration and leadership.

Ultimately, the program prepares teacher leaders who learn the educational tools, communication tools, and cultural awareness to engage in and promote change and praxis within a rapidly changing educational and social landscape.