Carlow’s New EdD Program: Imagining the Future of Education

By Patricia McMahon, PhD,
EdD Program Director

What will our schools look like in the near future? How is generative artificial intelligence changing the way we teach and learn? What emerging organizational patterns and relationships will give rise to education systems that define new conceptions of what school is? How will we imagine a future in which all children experience an education that contributes to their living fully, intentionally, and joyfully? What is required of education leaders working for a just and merciful world? 

Carlow’s Education faculty will launch our inaugural EdD cohort in fall 2024. This is an exciting time for us as we welcome individuals interested in becoming part of a collaborative leadership community of Scholar-Practitioners who wish to address critical concerns in education today.  Foundational to our EdD program is our Scholar-Practitioner philosophy, which is about much more than an accumulation of skills or techniques. It’s a way of being in and relating to the world—promoting respect, inviting diversity of thinking and expression, cultivating each learner’s potential, and instilling a love of learning.  

In the midst of the tremendous shifts in education we are experiencing, we need thought leaders who embody the Scholar-Practitioner quality of ethical stewardship. Scholar-Practitioner Stewards study their practice in relation to the changing landscape of education to imagine and bring forth new systems that enable all students to experience meaningful learning.  

Our practice-based Ed.D. curriculum enacts this philosophy in its sequenced design of courses—our Core and Seminars that are forums for reflection and collaborative deliberation—and its attention to each learner’s unique set of professional interests and goals. A three-year online program, the EdD comprises four specialization strands. Students choose one of the following: Educational Leadership, Curriculum and Learning, Literacy, and Early Childhood Policy and Leadership. These specialization strands enable us to become a community of inquiry so that, together, we can imagine, shape, and sustain the kind of transformational education that challenges the status quo and works toward mobilizing positive change at every level of our school systems. This is the shared purpose of our doctoral program. 

We expect that our doctoral students, through their experiences as Scholar-Practitioners in this program, will positively contribute as ethical stewards, not only to their particular contexts of practice but also to the education profession. We are eager to begin the journey together as each of asks, “How do I see the world?” “What do I want to study?” “What is the future of education?” 

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