Engaging in the Battle of the Snails by Challenging the Traditional Dissertation Model

Brianna L. Kennedy, Miriam Altman, Ana Pizano


Tensions arise with regard to appropriate research preparation and dissertation experiences for students who have as a career goal the conducting of context-based research to solve problems of practice (Hochbein & Perry, 2013; Shulman, Golde, Conklin Bueschel, & Garabedian, 2006). Schön (1995) describes “technical rationality[,] the prevailing epistemology built into the research university” (p. 27), as a primary impediment to programs that attempt to develop practitioner scholars. In this paper, we define technical rationality and explore the epistemological challenges it presents to faculty.  Next, we describe a critical incident illustrating how conflicting epistemologies between programs and graduate schools impact students and faculty. Finally, we make recommendations for policies and practices that could better support doctoral work conducted from a range of epistemological approaches. 


practitioner scholarship; doctoral education; dissertation in practice; co-authorship; constructionist epistemologies

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/ie.2018.27


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Copyright (c) 2018 Brianna L. Kennedy, Miriam Altman, Ana Pizano

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