Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership

Administration August 2021 PREMIUM
Fairfield University

Written by Fairfield’s School of Education and Human Development

Educators looking to further develop their leadership skills can now apply to the School of Education and Human Development’s new Doctor of Education (EdD) in Educational Leadership program. The three-year, hybrid, low residency program is designed for teachers who have a desire to lead across classrooms and transform education.

The EdD program aligns with Fairfield’s mission of preparing educators for leadership and service through broad intellectual inquiry, the pursuit of social justice, and cultivation of the whole person. The degree is tailored for individuals who have already taken on roles and responsibilities in their grade-level teams, departments, schools, or districts that expand beyond their current role and influences teaching and learning practices on a greater scale.

“The EdD in Educational Leadership for Teacher Leaders targets a long-standing need in Connecticut for an advanced degree program specifically for teachers,” said Emily Smith, PhD, professor of English education. “Many of our alums have returned to Fairfield seeking ways to advance their careers while continuing to live out their commitments to their students and schools. This program provides a way for both our alums and graduates of other programs to further develop their skills and commitments as advocates for equity and inclusion in public education.”

One of the core goals of the program is to prepare teacher-leaders who are advocates for social justice and anti-racist policies and practices, and who take actions as leaders with and for students, families, communities, and organizations for transformative change.

“The health and racial pandemics shone  a light on the need for teachers who can recognize and respond to policies and practices in schools that lead to unequal academic and social outcomes for students,” said Stephanie Burrell Storms, EdD, associate dean and associate professor of multicultural education. “We believe this program will prepare teachers to become leaders for equity and racial justice in education.”

This doctoral program is created for teachers who collectively want to catalyze systemic change within their classrooms and schools. As such, the program applies an equity lens, allowing practicing educators to examine structures, policies and behaviors that sustain oppression and result in inequities in student learning. Effective teacher leaders can play a critical role in modeling and developing equity-minded competencies with a focus on eliminating systemic racism and advocating for social justice.

The student learning outcomes for the program are to prepare teacher leaders to become:

Ethical leaders who engage in decision-making driven by principles, justice, honesty, and respect and work toward the well-being of all learners and the greater school community;

• Critically reflective scholar-practitioners who use data and co-construct knowledge to address educational challenges and opportunities in order to improve teaching and learning;

• Advocates for social justice and anti-racist policies and practices who take actions as leaders with and for students, families, communities, and organizations for transformative change;

• Compassionate relationship-builders who inspire, serve and lead within learning communities and build capacity to improve educational opportunities for all;

• Organizational collaborators who forge partnerships that will inspire and motivate key community stakeholders to transform learning experiences for all students; and

• Change agents who address educational issues through multiple perspectives within the social, political, and emotional context of communities.

The curriculum is organized into three main components: Inquiry in Action (e.g. Action Research for Educational Change), Foundational Core (e.g. Leadership for Social Justice in Education), and Teacher Leadership (e.g. Writing for Social Change). Educators who pursue the program will gain deeper insights into the theoretical and practical foundations of the profession. Candidates will learn how knowledge of education theory, inquiry, and data positively impact their teaching and the practices of those around them.

For more information about the new Doctor of Education (EdD) in Educational Leadership visit To see more School of Education and Human Development news visit

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