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OISE announces new Doctor of Education program in child study and education 

The new EdD in Child Study and Education at OISE will enroll its first cohort in Fall 2020*

June 17, 2019

By Biljana Cuckovic

Following approval by OISE Council on April 24, 2019, OISE’s new Doctor of Education (EdD) in Child Study in Education received approval by the University of Toronto Committee on Academic Policy and Programs (May 8, 2019), the Academic Board (May 30, 2019), and the Executive Committee of Governing Council (June 10, 2019). The new program will enroll its first cohort in September 2020*.

“We are extremely pleased that the University has approved this rigorous professional doctorate designed to address an important need in the field,” said OISE Dean Glen Jones. “This innovative program demonstrates OISE’s continuing leadership in linking our tremendous research strengths to issues of educational practice.”

Transformative and innovative pedagogy

The Institute’s Academic Plan Learning and Leading from Within, under the theme “Transformative and Innovative Pedagogy, calls for redefining existing and developing new professional doctorates in order to renew the reputation and relevance of this degree for a broad range of education leaders. Discussions about redesigning the EdD during the academic planning consultation process were especially important in light of OISE’s involvement with the Carnegie Project for the Educational Doctorate (CPED).

Unique aspects of the EdD in child study and education

Each of OISE’s EdD programs have specific features unique to their respective fields; however, following major changes to the Institute’s three EdD programs in 2017-2018, they all share the new culminating requirement called thesis (dissertation in practice).

The dissertation in practice differs from the traditional doctoral thesis in that it focuses on identifying solutions to problems of practice drawing on theory, research, and practitioner knowledge. Students will be required to frame the problem of practice, investigate it using multiple data sources including existing research and policy, and create a proposed plan for action to address the problem of practice. 

In addition to the cohort model that will provide a sense of community and enhanced access to student support, the program’s location at the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study and it’s onsite Laboratory School, will allow students to engage in learning and research about child development with members of the School community.

Designed for ‘practising professionals’

The EdD in Child Study and Education is designed for professionals in an education related field (e.g., teachers, early childhood educators, speech and language pathologists, community-based educators, administrators) who are looking to enrich their education and improve their practice. Through an advanced study of special education, wellbeing, mental health, and security applying a child study lens, the program will empower professionals to become change agents in education, to improve practice and bring about systemic change in organizations and communities.

“The program’s major strength is its ability to weave students’ current professional experience and interests into the program, which will help them address the challenges they encounter in their professional roles,” said Professor Rhonda Martinussen, Director of the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study.

Professor Earl Woodruff, Chair of the Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development, added, “We’re excited to offer a program that is designed for practising professionals eager to assume leadership roles. Specifically, our new doctorate of education in Child Study and Education program will provide students with the tools they need to advance practice in the field."

OISE continues to lead

OISE is the only faculty at the University of Toronto that offers the Education Doctorate, a research-intensive, practice-oriented degree. “With a lasting tradition of preparing educators in research-informed practice, OISE has a special responsibility to lead in the preparation of the next generation of practitioner-scholars who are equipped with the skills and knowledge they need to be effective leaders in their fields. The new EdD in Child Study and Education will make a strong contribution to that goal,” said Dean Jones.  

*No offer of admissions will be made to the program pending final approval by the Quality Council and the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.