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Abstract

The task of guiding the development of scholar-practitioners as leaders for social justice is inherently challenging. The dissertation journey, unlike any other journey practitioner-based doctoral students face in urban school settings, provides a steep learning curve as they transition from practitioner to scholar-practitioner. This journey challenges doctoral students, particularly those who represent the marginalized students they serve, as they begin to understand their personal history, how they view themselves, how they view others, and the ethical and political issues (Creswell, 2013) they face as their thinking shifts from that of a mere practitioner to that of a scholar-practitioner. This collection of case studies on dissertation research emerged from the collective work of faculty, students, and program graduates of the Educational Leadership for Social Justice Doctoral Program at California State University at East Bay. As we examine the development of scholar-practitioners’ research, we consider the role of faculty in supporting not merely the research, but more importantly the work to pursue more equitable outcomes in schools and society. The selected cases represent the complex task of preparing scholar-practitioners to lead for social justice.

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