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ERIC Number: EJ1145895
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0032-0684
Defining the Problem of Practice Dissertation: Where's the Practice, What's the Problem?
Belzer, Alisa; Ryan, Sharon
Planning and Changing, v44 n3-4 p195-207 2013
This article describes the evolution of the conceptualization of the "problem of practice" dissertation in the new EdD Program at the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. Our definition and conceptualization of the professional practice dissertation is grounded in a review of relevant literature and a description of the definition of a problem of practice developed by Rutgers' EdD faculty. To illustrate how to define a problem of practice dissertation, this article includes an analysis of several students' dissertation topics, and questions. This analysis highlights how practice can be understood as nested circles surrounding students that begin closest to the center in the specific job site (e.g. classroom) and move outwards to the institution (e.g. school, university) and then to the community (e.g. state). Broadly understood, the problem is always how to improve learning opportunities. Problem of practice dissertations use inquiry and evaluation to study current conditions as a way to make effective decisions on how to address the problem or by using the research literature to select and then test an intervention.
Department of Educational Administration and Foundations. College of Education, Illinois State University, Campus Box 5900, Normal, IL 61790-5900. Tel: 309-438-2399; Fax: 309-438-8683; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Jersey
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A