The Challenge of a Distance Learning Professional Doctorate

Butcher, John and Sieminski, Sandy (2004). The Challenge of a Distance Learning Professional Doctorate. In: Proceedings of the EDEN 2004 Annual Conference, European Distance and E-Learning Network, pp. 45–50.

URL: http://www.eden-online.org/system/files/Annual_200...

Abstract

The first Doctorate in Education (EdD) in the UK was presented at Bristol University in 1992, following US innovations eighty years earlier, when the EdD was seen as a pre-service award, and Australian developments from 1990 where the EdD is seen as an in-service, professional development award. Over the last ten years, a rapid expansion of professional doctorates in education has taken place, with 37 different universities in the UK now offering EdD programmes. This is undoubtedly a response to a growing market (both national and international), which might be a direct result of changing political agendas. These EdDs are all in their different ways a doctoral qualification with an explicitly professional orientation, generally presented as requiring part-time independent study supported by blocks of taught components (for example research methodology) delivered at weekend residential schools in the university. Recent policy initiatives in the UK have suggested a model of teacher professional development conceptualising teaching as a research-based, or evidence-based practice. However, there is a contrary policy direction running simultaneously in England and Wales, which is seeking to impose a more instrumental, Standards driven approach to professional development.

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