Taking Action: The Dissertation in Practice at Northeastern University
Keywords:Dissertation in Practice, social justice, action research
This essay describes the development and implementation of the redesigned Doctor of Education program at Northeastern University. In our new model, students implement and evaluate the effectiveness of their change work while enrolled in our program. Our intent in moving from a traditional model to our alternative model was to focus on providing students the opportunity to create systemic, justice-oriented change guided by our faculty. The program now uses action research as its signature pedagogy and an alternative format for the Dissertation in Practice. We developed the alternative format for the Dissertation in Practice to privilege participants’ voices and to focus on the results of our students’ initiatives. This essay discusses the challenges and successes experienced in the creation and implementation of an alternative model for the Doctor of Education degree.
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