Finding Balance between Academic Theory and Occupational Practice in Professional Schools: The Policy Advocacy Document as a Leadership Competency Assessment in Educational Administration

By Ted Purinton.

Published by Journal of the World Universities Forum

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper is a case of an innovative approach to the dissertation for a practitioner doctoral program in educational administration. Grounded in theory on professionalization, as well as reform movements in leadership training, this paper describes the approach, called policy advocacy, which provides a rationale for the use of a model for professional preparation that is distinct from scholarly preparation, and then draws out lessons for sustainability of professional colleges. The policy advocacy document, based on a rather obscure scholarly proposal from 1995, was implemented in 2005 at a professional college undergoing significant change in how it viewed doctoral education. The implementation process demonstrated that any dissertation model is both a contentious symbol of disciplinary and academic values and an artifact of the conceptions of student competency. This case provides unique insight into the technical details and the political struggles of the implementation of curricular and assessment reforms in professional schools.

Keywords: Professional Education, Educational Administration, Dissertation, Innovative Assessment

Journal of the World Universities Forum, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp.73-86. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 239.954KB).

Dr. Ted Purinton

Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Education, American University in Cairo, Cairo, Egypt

Dr. Purinton is Associate Dean for the Graduate School of Education and an associate professor of International and Comparative Education at the American University in Cairo. Previously, he was Chair for the Department of Educational Leadership at National Louis University in Chicago. Prior to his work at National Louis, his experience included program evaluation; school, district, and policy technical assistance; district, school, and non-profit consulting; school district program administration; and secondary English, speech, and literacy teaching. He holds a doctorate in policy and administration from the University of Southern California and has won awards for his teaching, research, and community organizing; his dissertation won the Rossier School 2005 Dissertation of the Year award. He has written two books and several articles on educational research, school governance, leadership, and school funding.

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