Academic journal article International Journal of Doctoral Studies

Educational Leadership Doctoral Faculty Academic Qualifications and Practitioner Experiences in Georgia

Academic journal article International Journal of Doctoral Studies

Educational Leadership Doctoral Faculty Academic Qualifications and Practitioner Experiences in Georgia

Article excerpt


Doctoral faculty in educational leadership programs prepare practitioners to hold senior leadership positions in P-12 school administration and higher education administration. This preparation is inextricably linked to the future of P-20 education and intrinsically shaped by the knowledge and skills that doctoral faculty bring from their respective fields and graduate programs. This impact is reminiscent of Green's (1988) belief in the relationship between education and a free, democratic society and asserts "It is through and by means of education, many of us believe, that individuals can be provoked to reach beyond themselves in their intersubjective space. It is through and by means of education that they may become empowered to think...." (p. 12). The doctoral faculty have the privilege and responsibility to challenge and support students to gain the theoretical and practical knowledge needed to successfully propel them to begin or advance their careers in P-20 educational leadership. Recognizing the significant role faculty play in developing these future educational leaders and in turn the education system, we sought to examine faculty at the helm, specifically their academic qualifications and practitioner experiences.


It is apparent that the academic and professional attributes of the faculty impact the curricula of leadership preparation programs and in turn shape learning (Hackmann & McCarthy, 2011a). Disconcertingly, Levine (2005) found that almost 90% of educational administrators felt colleges of education did not adequately prepare future educators for the profession. Furthermore, only 63% of these administrators found educational leadership courses valuable in practice. Levine's (2005) seminal study examined an educational leadership program where faculty members were primarily part-time faculty members who were active practitioners or full-time faculty members with little practitioner experience. Interestingly, the faculty with more practitioner experience were perceived to be the most effective and that corresponded with a more relevant curriculum. This supports the need for further inquiry into the academic qualifications and practitioner experiences of doctoral faculty in educational leadership programs.


Levine (2005) found that educational leadership faculty members often lacked school administrative experience or that their experience was not recent. As educational leadership programs have changed, so too have the faculty members that guide the programs. As personal attributes of faculty members may affect their performance and ability to positively influence future educational leaders, the type of degree that educational leadership faculty members received may frame their instructional practices and further influence the outcomes of their instruction. When looking at educational leadership faculty characteristics, the Carnegie level of the terminal degree carries weight. The Carnegie classification system is a dichotomy that delineates institutional types into categories to allow comparison and benchmarking. With respect to doctoral education, the Carnegie dichotomous system delineates doctoral institutions into three categories: Research 1 (R1), the highest research activity, Research (R2), higher research activity and Research (R3), moderate research activity. While the impetus for the creation and continuation of the Carnegie classification was and is not to rank institutions, there is a common perception that permeates throughout the academy to the contrary. This results in the fallacy that R1 institutions are the elite universities due to their Carnegie "ranking". This flawed application of the Carnegie classification is supported by the assertion that it has "... become part of the fabric of higher education research and policy in the United States" (Borden, Coates & Bringle, 2018, p. …

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