This paper discusses the Ed.D. and the Ph.D. in Education degrees. Both degrees socialize students into a profession based in service, that enjoys autonomy, and that is grounded in a knowledge base. However, the Ed.D. prepares administrators for professional practice through a practical curriculum, and the Ph.D. concentrates on training faculty and researchers. The ideal is a clear difference between the two degrees, with the Ed.D. training researching professionals and the Ph.D. training professional researchers. This distinction, however, has long been a fiction across U.S. higher education programs. The focus of this essay is that most higher education programs err by using the Ph.D. to prepare administrators, either by preparing them through the wrong means or by labeling Ed.D. training as the Ph.D. Drawing real distinctions between the two degrees is a necessary starting point to move education closer to other professional fields. Ed.D. programs can be more nontraditional and can use new formats that serve students better. The Ed.D. lends itself to the case method, as in law and medicine, and thus to innovation in teaching. Steps toward differentiating the two degrees have been taken at the University of Pennsylvania. In essence, that university has addressed the issue of inputs in differentiating between the two programs, but concerns related to process and outcomes remain. (Contains 37 references.) (SLD)
Paper prepared for the Annual Meeting of the Association for the Study of Higher Education (Sacramento, CA, November 21-24, 2002).