PROBLEM OF PRACTICE BASED ON SYSTEMS THINKING

Develop and share a problem of practice, providing support from the literature as well as application of systems thinking. (This is an education course and I work at a private school as the After-school care Coordinator)

One of the design concepts attributed to successful EdD programs is the scholarly practitioner, which The Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (n.d.) defines as practitioners who:

Blend practical wisdom with professional skills and knowledge to name, frame, and solve problems of practice. They use practical research and applied theories as tools for change because they understand the importance of equity and social justice. They disseminate their work in multiple ways, and they have an obligation to resolve problems of practice by collaborating with key stakeholders, including the university, the educational institution, the community, and individuals. (Design-Concepts Upon Which to Build Programs section)

As you move toward the final weeks of our course, a high priority for all who lead learning is the application of systems thinking as you identify a problem of practice relevant to your organization.

The demand for evidence-based research (EBR) in education has evoked considerable debate regarding the nature of knowledge practitioners hold, how they come to know, and the sociopolitical contexts in which that knowledge is generated. Proponents of EBR such as Michael Feuer stress the need for research that validly identifies solutions to important problems of educational practice. Critics such as Elizabeth St. Pierre decry such approaches to research on practice as epistemologically inappropriate and oblivious to their political and moral implications. Both positions illuminate important dimensions of improving practice, but what works seems to get lost in the rhetoric. In this article, the author suggests that we in adult education take seriously the question of what works in practice by developing a knowledge base grounded in research methods and strategies that give voice to the particularities of practice contexts, what he refers to as the “insider perspective.” (p. 273)

As you proceed through your EdD program, you will be required to identify a problem of practice, not simply an isolated problem in your organization, but instead a problem of practice that is clearly supported in the professional literature. Note that such problems were most likely identified as you developed the Literature Review assignment—all work of doctoral scholars must be firmly corroborated in the literature and research relevant to your organization’s problems of practice.

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