EdD students’ identity development in a Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate program

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3 Scopus citations


Purpose: This paper aims to describe how a Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate-guided EdD program has fostered the development of leadership and research skills and strong identities as learners, leaders and researching professionals (RPs) among its graduates. In doing so, the researchers explored students’ identities as learners, leaders and RPs and examined the development of those identities over a three-year period. Design/methodology/approach: A mixed method approach was used, including pre- and post-program surveys and interviews. Findings: The results showed students enhanced or developed these identities over time. In particular, there was substantial growth and change in the “RP” identity as compared to development of the “learner” and “leader” identities. Research limitations/implications: The possible-selves theory and the provisional-selves framework (P/PS) were helpful in accounting for these changes as the program requirements fostered students’ efforts in elaborating and developing their identity roles. Further, examination of P/PS and their influence on identity development is warranted. For example, examining outcomes about more explicit use of P/PS and reflections on P/PS is warranted. See next section. Practical implications: There are implications for teaching of EdD students such as faculty members making more explicit the concept of P/PS during instruction and in the work required of students. Additionally, students could be required to engage in reflection on P/PS to make this process more concrete for them. Originality/value: Using P/PS provides a way to understand and foster processes underlying doctoral students’ identity development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-53
Number of pages19
JournalStudies in Graduate and Postdoctoral Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 13 2019


  • EdD programs
  • Fostering identity growth
  • Identity development as leader and researcher

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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