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Call for Papers: Management in Education (MiE) Special Issue


Professional Doctorates in Education: exploring the tensions and opportunities for those in leadership

Special Edition Editors:

Gerry Czerniawski – University of East London

Nick Pratt – Plymouth University

Katy Vigurs – Staffordshire University

The growth in professional doctorates over the last 25 years is well-documented as are the forms, fields, disciplines and methodologies that such doctorates embrace.  Factors said to influence the emergence of these alternative doctoral pathways include the growth of the knowledge economy; the marketization of education; the rapidly changing role of higher education and its internationalisation;  and developments in technology (Chiteng and Hendel 2012; Zusman 2013).  Each factor brings with it challenges for those staff involved in running professional doctorates in Education (EdD). Ranging from the clinical to the more research focused award the EdD is situated within what Scott (2004) calls the ‘twilight zone’ – a place somewhere between the university and workplace often reflecting dissonance between these two cultures of learning (Scott 2004: 3). 

Within the backdrop of competing discourses associated with globalisation and austerity, arguments for the supply and demand for Doctorates in Education are often positioned and justified by economism rather than those associated with professional capital and capacity building. Many students on professional doctoral programmes are senior members of staff in schools and colleges who study their doctorates part time.  For those working in Universities the professional doctorate plays its part in professional identity formation as colleagues formally employed in schools and colleges move into new roles working within the Academy.  Leaders of professional doctorates in education have to cater for both audiences navigating between their professional values regarding excellence in doctoral practice and those values associated with Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and the marketability and sustainability of doctoral courses. 

This call seeks to address a gap in the literature on Professional Doctorates in Education by focusing on the challenges and opportunities for those involved in the leadership of Doctorates in Education. We invite papers focusing on these challenges, including, but not limited to:

  • The ways in which professional doctorates are understood in universities and workplaces and the implications for managing and marketing them.
  • The relationship between credentialism and practice and the roles of the various stakeholders in PDs.
  • The nature of research on PDs and implications for managing this in the current HE and professional policy arenas.
  • Managing the assessment of PDs and the tensions between academic and workplace practices.
  • The role of theory in PDs and the implications for the design and management of programmes.
  • The discourse of PDs: academic award titles, professional practices and how these might identify participants in particular ways.

The Editors seek proposals - an abstract of no more than 750 words including key references and a short biography -  for original papers of no more than 4500 words (including references).


August 2016 Deadline for submission of expressions of interest (to include a 500-750 word abstract, indicative key references and a short bio)
October 2016 Decision on expressions of interest and notification to authors
March  2017   Deadline for full papers
May 2017   Feedback and decision on acceptance of papers following peer review process
July 2017   Submission of final papers

The special issue is expected to be published towards the end of 2017.

All proposals should be sent to:


Butcher J. and Sieminski S. 2006. Case Study: The Challenge of a distance learning professional doctorate in Education. Open Learning. 21 (1): 59-69

Chiteng Kot F., and Hendel D.D. 2012.  Emergence and growth of professional doctorates in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia: a comparative analysis. Studies in Higher Education.  37 (3) 345–364

Kumar S. and Dawson K. 2013.  Exploring the impact of a professional practice education doctorate in educational environments.  Studies in Continuing Education. 35 (2): 165-178

Powell, S., and E. Long. 2005. Professional doctorate awards in the UK. Lichfield: UK Council for Graduate Education

Scott, D., Brown, A., Lunt, I. & Thorne, L. 2004. Professional doctorates: integrating professional and academic knowledge. London, Open University Press/McGraw Hill Education.

Taylor A. 2007. Learning to Become Researching Professionals: The Case of the Doctorate of Education. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. 19 (2): 154-166

Zusman A. 2013. How new kinds of professional doctorates are changing higher education institutions.  Research and Occasional Paper Series. CSHE 8.13. University of California: Berkeley.

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