Creating a Culture of Activism in the Education Doctorate

  • Christine Lynn Mcclure
Keywords: higher education, graduate education, diversity, inclusion

Abstract

 

Attempting to combine activism and scholarship would seem natural because most academic research is born out of a deep-rooted desire to change, eradicate, or transform a societal issue. As such, translating research into practice by way of activism would seem conventional for most scholars, because it is “informed by both personal and political values and the need to engage our emotional responses to the world around us” (Derickson & Routledge, 2015, p. 5). However, the elite, “ivory-tower” of the academy is not so accepting of scholar-activists. Perhaps it is because activism places higher education in the cross hairs of the criticisms, critiques, and call-outs that activism seeks to influence. Institutions of higher education have done a mediocre job at cultivating spaces for academics to freely engage in activism, as academics who desire to participate in activism face considerable and specific career-related risks (Flood et al., 2013). Loss of tenure, reduced opportunities for collaboration, decreased funding, isolation, and oftentimes physical threats are but a few strategies used against academics who openly participate in activism. While many activist movements have been birthed on college and university campuses, very few demonstrate a willingness to embrace the causes or individuals involved in these activist movements. As institutions of higher education try to strengthen both the policies and practices related to diversity, equity, and inclusion it is imperative that they also examine the oppressive structures, antiquated hiring practices, and exclusionary curriculum that inhibit the culture of activism from thriving. These three specific areas are the focus for this article.

Author Biography

Christine Lynn Mcclure

Christine McClure, Ed. D, currently serves as the Program Director for Research at the National Council for Juvenile and Family Court Judges. She works in partnership with the National Council for Juvenile Justice Director and other program staff to manage the research needs and activities for all programs. Translating research information for practice professionals, which assists jurisdictions/agencies implement continuous quality improvement, and measure performance is her primary responsibility.  Christine holds multiple degrees including a Bachelor of Science in health services administration and biology, dual Master’s degrees in business administration and public policy management, and a doctorate in education.

References

American Federation of Teachers (2010). Promoting racial and ethnic diversity in the faculty: What higher education unions can do. https://www.aft.org/sites/default/fles/factuly diversity0310.pdf

Basu, K. (2012). The country’s oldest Ed.D. program will close down. Inside Higher Ed.

Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate. (n.d.) The Knowledge Forum on the EdD. https://www.cpedinitiative.org/.

Cole. R., & Heineckle, W. (2018). Higher education after neoliberalism: Student activism as a guiding light. Policy Futers in Education, 18(1), 90-116. https://doi.org/10.1177/1478210318767459.

Collins, P. (2000). Black feminist thought. NY Routledge.

Cremin, L. (1978). The education of the educating professions. Washington, DC: American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.

Creswell, J. (2013). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches. Sage Publications, Inc.

Dictionary.com (2019). Retrieved from Dictionary.com Activism | Definition of Activism at Dictionary.com.

Derickson, D., & Routledge, P. (2015). Resourcing scholar-activism: Collaboration transformation, and the production of knowledge. The Professional Geographer, 67(1), 1-7.

Farnun, R. (2016). Scholactivism –a growing movement of scholar-activists. University World News. https://www.universityworldnews.com/post.php?story=20160530142606345.

Flaherty, C. (2015). Demanding 10 Percent, Inside Higher Ed. https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2015/11/30/student-activists-want-more-black-faculty-members-how-realistic-are-some-their-goals.

Flaherty, C. (2016). More Faculty Diversity, Not on Tenure Track. https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2016/08/22/study-finds-gains-faculty-diversity-not-tenure-track.

Flood, M., Martin, B., & Dreher, T. (2013). Combining academia and activism. Australian Universities’ Review, (55)1, 17-26.

Harris, C. I. (1993). Whiteness as property. Harvard Law Review, 106(8), 1709-1791.

Harris, J.C., Linder, C. (2018). The racialized experiences of students of color in higher education and student affairs graduate preparation programs. The Journal of College Student Development, 59(2), 141-158.

hooks, b. (1994). Teaching to transgress: Education as the practice of freedom. Routledge.

McClure, C. (2018). Count-our-space: Examining the counterspaces of Black woman pursing a doctorate in education [Doctoral dissertation, University of Pittsburgh]. ProQuest Dissertation Thesis Global

National Center for Education Statistics. (2017). Race/ethnicity of college faculty: 2017. Washington, DC.

National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, Survey of Earned Doctorates. (2018). Statistical profile of postgraduation plans of doctorate recipients, by ethnicity, race, and citizen status:2018. https://ncses.nsf.gov/pubs/nsf20301/fata-tables@group7

National Science Foundation, National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics. 2019. Doctorate Recipients from U.S. Universities: 2018. Special Report NSF 20-301. Alexandria, VA.

Nelson, J.K., Coorough, C. (1994). Content analysis of the PhD versus the EdD dissertation. Journal of Experimental Education, 62(2), 158-168.

Patton, L.D. (2016). Disrupting postsecondary prose: Toward a critical race theory of higher education. Urban Education, 51(3), 315-342.

Patton, L. D., Harper, S. R., & Harris, J. C. (2015). Using critical race theory to (re)interpret widely studied topics related to students in US higher education. In A. M. Martinez Aleman, B. Pusser, & E. M. Bensimon (Eds.), Critical approaches to the study of higher education (pp. 193--219). John Hopkins University Press.

Perry, J. (2012). What does history reveal about the education doctorate? Latta & Wunder (Eds.). Placing practitioner knowledge at the center of teach education (pp.51-75). Information Age Publishing.

Perry, J. (2015) The Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate, Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, 47(3), 56-61, https://doi.org/10.1080/00091383.2015.1040712

Perry, J. (2015). The Carnegie project on the education doctorate. Change: The Magazine of Higher Education, 47 (3), 56-61.

Scott, D. (2016). Ph.D. vs. Ed.D.: Which terminal degree is right for you? Inside Higher Ed. http://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/gradhacker/phd-vs-edd

Thelin, J. (2004). A history of American higher education. The Johns Hopkins University Press.

Umbach, P. (2006). The contribution of faculty of color to undergraduate education. Research in Higher Education, 47(3), 317-345.

Wall, M.L. (2013). Using balanced learning course design to reduce resistance to diversity curricula. Enhancing Learning in the Social Sciences, 5(2), 45-54.

Zambrana, R.E., Ray, R., Castro, C., Cohen, B., & Eliason, J. (2015). Don’t leave us behind: The importance of mentoring for underrepresented minority faculty. American Educational Research Journal, 52(1), 40-72.

Published
2021-03-11
How to Cite
Mcclure, C. L. (2021). Creating a Culture of Activism in the Education Doctorate. Impacting Education: Journal on Transforming Professional Practice, 6(1), 53–56. https://doi.org/10.5195/ie.2021.128