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Lakehead 2009-2010 Academic Units Faculty of Graduate Studies Faculty of Education Educational Studies PhD Graduate Programs
Educational Studies PhD Graduate Programs

Joint Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Studies

Professor and Dean J. O'Meara
Associate Professor and Chair of Graduate Studies in Education C.L. Russell
Graduate Coordinator C.L. Russell
Core: Doctoral Supervisory  
  S. Agbo,
  P.V. Allingham,
  A. Bartley,
  F. Blaikie,
  P.H. Brady,
  M.C. Courtland,
  J. Epp,
  H.A. Fennell,
  S. Grover,
  J.M. Iseke-Barnes (Canada Research Chair),
  R.J.L. Jickling,
  A. Kajander,
  A. Lawson,
  G. Passmore,
  T. Puk,
  M.H. Rahim,
  C.L. Russell,
  C. Van Barneveld
Non-Core: Limited Membership D. McGregor

The Joint PhD in Educational Studies is offered jointly by Brock University, Lakehead University, and the University of Windsor. The designation of "home university" is applied to the home university of the doctoral candidate's dissertation supervisor. The student has the right to take courses and seminars or to use the academic facilities at any of the participating universities in accordance with the approved plan.

The regulations governing the preparation of theses and conduct of examinations will be those of the supervisor's home university.

The degree requirements, regulations and procedures for the Joint PhD program have been approved by the appropriate governing body of each institution. Where there is a conflict in regulations and procedures:
- in academic matters, the regulations of the institution offering the course will prevail;
- in non-academic matters, the regulations of the institution at which the student is registered will prevail.


The joint program will accomplish the following goals:
1. provide greater access to advanced study in education for qualified candidates across a wider geographic range in the province;
2. promote the growth of research activity and professional development through collaboration among practitioners, scholars, educational institutions, and Faculties of Education;
3. foster inter-university links and promote partnerships among Ontario universities;
4. further the expansion of research culture and service throughout the province; and
5. contribute to the renewal of the professoriate and educational leadership in Ontario during the upcoming period of heavy retirement in the universities and school systems.

The objectives of the program are to produce graduate students who will:
1. contribute to the development of knowledge and expertise in teaching/learning at all levels on the education continuum;
2. contribute to the solution of problems/issues in Canadian education;
3. promote scholarly enquiry and the development of methodological advances in the study of education;
4. integrate theory and practice in education; and
5. assume positions of leadership in Faculties of Education, school systems, and other public- and private-sector institutions concerned with education.


The minimum academic requirement for admission to the PhD is successful completion of a Master's degree in Education or a cognate discipline, normally with an A standing.

Applicants must submit a description of their proposed area of research (approximately 2-3 typed pages).

Applicants must provide evidence of research competence normally demonstrated by a master's thesis. Students who have not completed a thesis must submit evidence of equivalent research capability.

English is the primary language of communication and instruction in the program. Applicants from other countries who have not completed a degree at a university where the primary language of instruction is English must pass the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a minimum score of 600 (250 computer-based) or an equivalent demonstration of proficiency.

Candidates who are working on the degree at a distance from the home university must purchase the software and access to the internet which will enable them to participate fully in the required courses.


In rare cases students may receive advance credit for a maximum of one half course at the graduate level. This is allowed provided that this course has not been credited to a degree or certificate already awarded, it is relevant to the proposed area of study, and it has been taken within three years of admission. Requests for advance credit must be made when applying for admission to the program. Substitutions cannot be made for required courses in the Joint PhD in Educational Studies Program.


Normally by March the Program Committee completes admission procedures, and the Office of the Secretariat sends letters recommending acceptance into the Program. An applicant who receives a letter from the Director recommending acceptance into the Program is required soon thereafter to meet with the Chair of Graduate Studies and Research in Education at the home university, and with a potential Supervisor, to discuss the Plan of Study, and complete the Plan of Study form. The Plan of Study outlines whether the student will progress through the program on a full time or part time basis. It indicates when required and elective courses will be taken, and includes additional admission requirements. Admission to the Program is considered complete when the Plan of Study form is completed and signed by all parties, and a formal Offer of Admission is received by the applicant. The student must confirm acceptance of the Offer of Admission from the home university by writing to the Director of the Program, the Chair of Graduate Studies and Research in Education, and the Dean of Graduate Studies




1. Policy and Leadership

This field focuses upon the study of policy and leadership within educational systems. It draws upon organizational and administrative studies to construct critical perspectives on actions and structures at the macropolitical and micropolitical levels and examines how these influence the climate and the quality of curriculum and learning.

2. Sociocultural Contexts of Education

This field draws upon diverse disciplines such as comparative education, cultural psychology, history, philosophy, sociology, and traditional curriculum areas to advance understanding of the sociocultural contexts which influence curriculum, teaching, and learning, to generate theory, and to plan, develop, implement, and evaluate programs, teaching, and learning.

3. Cognition and Learning

This field draws primarily upon psychology and educational psychology to examine critically the cognitive processes of teachers and learners as they engage in teaching and learning. Integral components of this field are assessment and the adaptation of instruction to the needs of the individual learners.

Applicants to the program must declare a field of study prior to admission to the program.


Doctoral candidates must be familiar with the academic regulations governing graduate studies at the home university.

The program requirements consist of:
(a) Course Requirements (3.5 FCEs);
(b) Comprehensive Portfolio (1.5 FCEs); and
(c) Dissertation (5 FCEs).

(a) Course Requirements

- Doctoral Seminar 1 and 2 (2 FCEs)
- one Joint PhD Specialization Elective via distance (0.5 FCE)
- one Specialization Elective (0.5 FCE)
- Research Proposal Colloquium via distance (0.5 FCE)

Candidates may meet the requirement for a specialization elective in the field through a graduate level course offered at any of the participating institutions.

(b) Comprehensive Portfolio

The comprehensive portfolio is developed by the student working in conjunction with her/his Doctoral Dissertation Committee. A collection of scholarly works, the comprehensive portfolio requires students to demonstrate their potential as scholars through the satisfactory completion of authentic tasks. The criteria used by the Supervisor and Committee Members to define specific tasks and assess a student's portfolio are as follows:

- evidence of deep understanding of concepts, theories, and issues in the field of study
- knowledge of current literature and research methods in the field of study
- understanding of and ability to critique the research literature in the field of study and within related research paradigms
- the ability to analyze and synthesize current literature on a specific issue (related to the dissertation topic) within the field of study

Under the direction of the Supervisor and Committee Members typically students include extended literature reviews focusing on the dissertation topic within the field of study, theoretical analyses, research and peer reviewed publications, conference proceedings, and other scholarly products which provide evidence of critical thinking. The student is required to include a rationale explaining how the material included in the Comprehensive Portfolio provides evidence of the criteria listed above.

In addition to scholarly material, the Comprehensive Portfolio must include the following information:
- A current academic curriculum vitae
- A copy of the original proposed Plan of Study
- Any revisions to the Plan of Study
- A description of coursework experiences
- A description of research experiences and academic growth to date
- A list of competencies for which additional preparation is needed
- A description of planned future research activities, including a discussion of the intended dissertation topic
- A rationale explaining how material selected for inclusion in the Comprehensive Portfolio demonstrates evidence of the criteria for Oral Examination of the Comprehensive Portfolio.

The candidate's defence will be evaluated by the dissertation supervisory committee and at least one other member of the core faculty selected by the Program Director. Candidates are required to present their completed portfolio to an audience in a forum such as the Core Seminar.

Candidates may not begin their dissertation research until the portfolio requirements have been completed successfully.

(c) Dissertation

The dissertation supervisory committee will involve faculty from at least two participating universities, including whenever possible and reasonable, a member from the university closest to the candidate's home to serve as co-supervisor in cases where the supervisor is at some distance. The regulations and procedures governing the preparation of theses and conduct of examinations will be those of the supervisor's university.

(d) Residence and Period of Study

Full time students are in residence for the duration of the program. Part time students are required to be in residence for four residency periods, as follows: The Core 1 summer course, the Core 2 summer course, and a subsequent two consecutive term period of full time study in residence at the home university. It is recommended strongly that students complete the two consecutive terms of residency after they have defended the portfolio and proposal and are authorized to commence doctoral research.

Part time students must apply to spend two terms in residency no later than January 31st in the academic year prior to the year in which the intended residency will take place. Planned residency periods must be included in the Plan of Study Form as well as in the Annual Progress Report Form (available from Office of Graduate Studies and Research in Education).

Candidates are required to maintain continuous registration. Both full-time and part-time students shall complete the requirements for the degree within a maximum of six years. Normally, candidates require a minimum of three years to complete the program.

Recommendations for a time extension or leave of absence are subject to the regulations and procedures at the home university and must be approved in advance by the supervisor and the Joint Program Committee.


1. Policy and Leadership

Education 6211 - Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

2. Sociocultural Contexts of Education
Education 6311 - Social/Cultural/Political Contexts of Education

3. Cognition and Learning
Education 6411 - Cognition and Learning