PhD in Educational Studies

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  • Objectives
    Through the three fields of study, Cognition and Learning, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, and Social/Cultural/Political Contexts of Education, the Joint PhD in Educational Studies Program aims to promote scholarly inquiry and the production of new knowledge within the context of a research culture.
  • Academic title
    PhD in Educational Studies
  • Course description
    The course and research requirements for the degree total a minimum of 10.0 Full Course Equivalent (FCE) credits as follows:

    - Core Seminar 1 (first Summer, face to face, rotating sites, 1.0 FCEs)

    - The Field of Study Specialization Course (first Fall, via distance, 0.5 FCEs)

    - Core Seminar 2 (second Summer, face to face, rotating sites, 1.0 FCEs)

    - Specialization Elective (this may be a directed study, 0.5 FCEs)

    - Research Proposal Colloquium (Winter or Fall, via distance, 0.5 FCEs)

    - Comprehensive Portfolio and Examination of Comprehensive Portfolio (1.5 FCEs)

    - Four terms of residency including the two summer Core Courses and two consecutive terms

    - The Proposal

    - The Dissertation (5.0 FCEs)


    Core Seminar 1: Research, Theories, and Issues
    In Core Seminar 1, the history and philosophical foundations of education are examined through the three fields of study. As well, students are introduced to qualitative methods of research in education, encompassing interview, phenomenological, ethnographic, constructivist, and case study approaches to data collection, analysis, and interpretation.
    Cognition and Learning
    This course provides an analysis of epistemological theories through a critical examination of foundational and current research and a reflection on historical and philosophical orientations as they relate to contemporary issues in cognition and learning.
    Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
    This course introduces students to the origins and intellectual traditions of theories that influence how we organize education. Students develop an understanding of sociological paradigms that have influenced educational systems over time, and develop perspectives that enable them to think critically and creatively about contemporary and future issues in educational leadership, policy, and organizations.
    Social/Cultural/Political Contexts of Education

    This course centres around a critical examination of cultural, historical, and theoretical perspectives in education. Bodies of knowledge related to understanding the complexities of sociocultural influences in education are the main focus. Power relations at play and how they are negotiated in everyday practice are considered. Using the sociocultural framework developed in the course, students also investigate their specific areas of interest (for example, curriculum theory and practice).
    Core Seminar 2: Research, Theories, and Issues
    In Core Seminar 2 students examine research, theories, and issues in the fields of study via a specific theme which is identified annually. For example, the theme might be bullying, or caring in education, or gender issues. As well, students are introduced to quantitative methods of research in education, encompassing true experiments, quasi experiments, and correlational studies.
    The Specialization Elective
    The content for this course must relate to the student=s dissertation topic and field of study. The course may be selected from the graduate studies calendar of courses from one of the participating universities, or it may be taken as a directed study. Normally, directed studies courses are undertaken with the student's supervisor or a core faculty member at the home university. Variations will be reviewed by the Associate Dean or Chair of Graduate Studies in Education on a case by case basis. In a directed studies course, the student completes a sustained program of study relating to a topic of current theoretical and/or empirical interest leading to the production of a substantial research paper. Directed studies are intended for students with special interests which cannot be satisfied by calendar courses.
    Research Proposal Colloquium
    In this course students examine theory and research in relation to their intended dissertation topic. Students develop a topic idea in the form of a dissertation proposal, defining a research question and a theoretical base for intended study. Students examine research questions in relation to varied methodologies, so that a diverse examination of research frameworks takes place through WebCT based discourse.
    Policy Regarding Timing for the Research Proposal Colloquium
    Normally, students enroll for the Research Proposal Colloquium in the second winter of the program. In the case of full time students only, application may be made to enroll in the Research Proposal Colloquium course in the first winter of the program. Please refer to Part-Time and Full-Time Studies for further information on the timing of the Research Colloquium Course.

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