K-12 Education PhD Programs
Educational leaders seeking to apply concepts in research and best practices in education might pursue a Doctorate in K-12 Education. Programs might require professional experience in education.
It’s fun to think of a Doctor of Education as someone who fixes something that’s broken. After all, it’s well known that within our educational system there exist plentiful problems begging to be solved. Even for those who don’t believe that the system is broken (it does, after all, have some wonderful qualities) it’s difficult to deny that it doesn’t at least suffer from some undiagnosed illnesses or misapplied treatments. Nearly all of us could agree that our educational system could benefit from at least some considerate care.
Consider that a Doctor of Education provides that considerate care to diagnose illnesses and bring systems of education into optimum health. Doctoral programs in education therefore exist to transform ordinary educators, leaders, administrators, and thinkers into extraordinary ones—ones who have the top mental, social, and practical capacities to influence a system that could use a trained and hand.
Doctoral Degree Programs in K-12 Education: EDD vs. Ph.D
There are two primary Doctor of Education degrees programs: a Doctorate in Education (EdD) and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Education (PhD). There are similarities and important differences between the two, so take time to consider which might be right for you.
Similarities between the EdD and the Doctor of Education &Programs for K-12 Education doctoral Students
Let’s start by discussing the ways in which the two degree programs are similar: first, both are designed to help prepare you to pursue careers in the field of education and emphasize educational theory, philosophy, and practice. Second, each may give you a better idea of the social, political, and cultural issues and circumstances shaping education today. Through either course of study, you could gain a strong understanding of what educators, administrators, and leaders in education encounter on a daily basis. In addition, you may have an opportunity to learn how to assess and address the impacts of our educational system on our youth today. Finally, both degrees offer opportunities to examine who you are as a leader in your field.
Differences between the EdD and the Doctor of Education Programs for K-12 Education Doctoral Students
Now let’s examine some of the ways in which the two degree programs differ. After all, earning one of these two degrees could ultimately lead professionals down two distinct paths:
One primary difference between these two degree programs is that one of them, the EdD, is basically designed for professionals who want to pursue careers as leaders and administrators in the education industry. The EdD therefore has a much more practical focus, with an emphasis on coursework and experience that is set up to help prepare students to pursue administrative and leadership positions. EdDs might pursue potential career opportunities as educators, managers, administrators, principles, trainers, and in other leadership capacities. They often work in schools, government organizations, or non-profits. Ultimately, EdDs learn how to practically apply what they learn through research to positively influence education.
Conversely, the PhD in education program is typically designed for professionals who want to study the field of education itself during their programs and into the future. PhDs might pursue careers as post-secondary educators or researchers, and they study and share knowledge about core issues and circumstances influencing education. PhD programs therefore tend to have a more research and writing orientation that emphasizes coursework and experience that prepares students to develop and share new knowledge. PhDs might pursue potential career opportunities as professors and researchers in universities, think-tanks, school districts, and governmental or nonprofit organizations. PhDs ultimately apply a more theoretical focus as they learn how to research and share knowledge in the field of education.
If you decide to earn a doctorate in education, determine whether you would like to work on practical or theoretical applications within the industry. Determine whether you want to pursue a career as a leader or administrator, or if you want to aim toward a career as an educator and researcher. Then research options in the program that may be right for you.
Common Areas of Research in Doctorate of K-12 Education Programs
Whether in an EdD or PhD program, you may be required to conduct research, examine results, and learn how to share or apply new knowledge about educational theory or practices. Here are some of the leading-edge subjects of research and study in doctorate education programs today:
- Instructional leadership
- Organizational leadership
- Public leadership
- Evidence-based leadership
- Educational technology or psychology
- Higher education
- Educational leadership and administration
- Curriculum instruction and teaching
As you can see, there are numerous options for educators ready to earn their doctorate of education. May your path to enhancing your career as an even more effective educator, administrator, or leader be a wonderful one!
The George Washington University
Established in the heart of the nation's capital in 1821, GW provides innovative programs in more than 200 fields of study, including graduate certificate, master's, and doctoral programs. Under the guidance of a world-renowned faculty, you will explore...
- Philadelphia, PAPhiladelphia, PA
Saint Joseph's University
The Department of Education provides opportunities for study in fields related to teacher education and the area of corporate training and development. Programs leading to teacher certification, the Master of Science degree, and the Post-Master's certif...
- Houston, TXHouston, TX
University of Houston
- Loughborough, United KingdomLoughborough, United Kingdom
- Knoxville, TNKnoxville, TN
University of Tennessee
Two types of Master's degrees, EdS and PhD...
- Seattle, WASeattle, WA
University of Washington
- Edmonton, ABEdmonton, AB
University of Alberta
The Department of Elementary Education offers graduate programs leading to the degrees of MEd, EdD,and PhD, in the following areas: Art; Computer Applications; Curriculum Studies; Early Childhood Education; Instructional Studies; Language Arts; Mathemat...
- Edmonton, AB
- Boca Raton, FLBoca Raton, FL
Florida Atlantic University
- Louisville, KYLouisville, KY
University of Louisville
- Chestnut Hill, MAChestnut Hill, MA
- Nottingham, United KingdomNottingham, United Kingdom
Nottingham Trent University
- Seoul, KoreaSeoul, Korea
Myong Ji University
The Graduate School was established in 1967 with 36 departments for the master's program and 27 for the Ph.D. program. A total of 2,416 degrees (2,050 in M.A. Programs and 366 in Ph.D. Programs) have been awarded thus far. Men and women who possess the...
- Uxbridge, United KingdomUxbridge, United Kingdom
Brunel's overseas students make an important contribution to the academic and social life of the University. We have an overseas population of around 1600 students (both undergraduate and postgraduate) from 110 countries worldwide and we do our best to...
- Auburn, ALAuburn, AL
- Belton, TXBelton, TX
University of Mary Hardin-Baylor
The College of Education offers a Doctor of Education degree in Leadership in Educational Administration (LEAD). The 60 hour program is a comprehensive program that integrates the best of educational disciplines and is delivered in a nontraditional (one...
- Savannah, GASavannah, GA
Ed.S. Early Childhood Education is a 31-credit online program for Georgia educators certified at the master's level.
- Kuala Lumpur, MalaysiaKuala Lumpur, Malaysia
University of Malaya
- Dekalb, ILDekalb, IL
Northern Illinois University
- Normal, ALNormal, AL
Alabama A & M University