Big Issues Energize Fifth EdD Residency
They came from 28 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, as well as Canada, Dubai, Honduras, Mexico, and United Arab Emirates. Inspired by guests such as noted urbanist and social scientist William F. Tate IV and students from Baltimore’s Summer Arts and Learning Academy, they gathered to tackle—individually and collectively—some of the most challenging problems of practice in education today.
“Your job as researchers is knowledge development. Your job is to put ignorance to death.”
— William F. Tate IV
The Johns Hopkins School of Education’s 2018 Doctor of Education (EdD) Summer Residency and Orientation brought 146 doctoral students to downtown Baltimore’s stately Lord Baltimore Hotel for three days of workshops, seminars, and discussions. Since its inception in 2012, the primarily online EdD program has shown steady growth. At 74 doctoral students—69 of whom attended the residency—the entering 2018 cohort is one of the school’s largest ever.
The students’ backgrounds comprised a broad swath of the education field—from early literacy to nonprofit advocacy; private elementary schools to some of the nation’s largest metropolitan systems. They described their occupations in almost as many ways, including teacher, speech/language pathologist, head of school, special educator, technology director, academic dean, resource specialist, independent education consultant, and entrepreneur.
Highlights of the event included the July 23 keynote address by Tate, dean of the Graduate School of Washington University in St. Louis. Known for his scholarship as an urbanist and social scientist, Tate shared his own journey as a researcher who uses epidemiological and geospatial models to explain the social determinants of education outcomes. His passion for using research to illuminate glaring issues in education served as a vital undercurrent of the talk. In explaining the importance of the work in front of the EdD students, Tate offered two defining statements. “Your job as researchers is knowledge development,” he said. “Your job is to put ignorance to death.”
A special lunchtime session on the same day brought together 2017 cohort member Ken Trump, a school safety expert, and his faculty adviser, Assistant Professor Christine Eith, a sociologist specializing in research methods, school violence, and delinquency. Their informative discussion focused on dispelling common myths surrounding school violence and urging the education community to be critical consumers of information on school safety.
On the final day of the residency, Lara Ohanian, director of differentiated learning at Baltimore City Public Schools, presented Social Justice in Action, a session examining efforts of the Baltimore’s Summer Arts and Learning Academy to create effective programs to ameliorate “summer slide.” Special demonstrations by visiting artists and student participants presented working examples of integrating the arts programming in a culturally relevant context to make summer learning programs more engaging—and more effective.