CPED Framework
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About CPED
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The Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED) includes over 100 colleges and schools of education, which have committed resources to work together to undertake a critical examination of the doctorate in education (EdD) through dialog, experimentation, critical feedback and evaluation.


The Vision of the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED) is to inspire all schools of education to apply the CPED framework to the preparation of educational leaders to become well-equipped scholarly practitioners who provide stewardship of the profession and meet the educational challenges of the 21st century.  


The Mission of the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED) is to strengthen, improve, support and promote the CPED framework through continued collaboration and investigation.

The Framework

Through a collaborative, authentic process, members of CPED developed a Framework for EdD program design/redesign that supports creating quality, rigorous practitioner preparation while honoring the local context of each member institution. The CPED Framework consists of three components—a new definition of the EdD, a set of guiding principles for program development and a set of design-concepts that serve as program building blocks.

Members enter the Consortium at points of considering a new EdD. As they engage in the Consortium, they utilize this Framework to design/redesign, evaluate and improve their programs. As such CPED members are often at different levels in the design/redesign process.

Definition of the Education Doctorate

As a result of our work, the members of CPED believe:
“The professional doctorate in education prepares educators for the application of appropriate and specific practices, the generation of new knowledge, and for the stewardship of the profession.”

Guiding Principles for Program Design

With this understanding, we have identified the following statements that will focus a research and development agenda to test, refine, and validate principles for the professional doctorate in education. The Professional doctorate in education:

  1. Is framed around questions of equity, ethics, and social justice to bring about solutions to complex problems of practice.
  2. Prepares leaders who can construct and apply knowledge to make a positive difference in the lives of individuals, families, organizations, and communities.
  3. Provides opportunities for candidates to develop and demonstrate collaboration and communication skills to work with diverse communities and to build partnerships.
  4. Provides field-based opportunities to analyze problems of practice and use multiple frames to develop meaningful solutions.
  5. Is grounded in and develops a professional knowledge base that integrates both practical and research knowledge, that links theory with systemic and systematic inquiry.
  6. Emphasizes the generation, transformation, and use of professional knowledge and practice.

Design-Concepts upon which to build programs

To build an EdD program upon these program principles, CPED members have defined a set of design concepts, which include:

Scholarly Practitioner: Scholarly Practitioners 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. 

Signature Pedagogy: Signature Pedagogy is the pervasive set of practices used to prepare scholarly practitioners for all aspects of their professional work: “to think, to perform, and to act with integrity” (Shulman, 2005, p.52). Signature pedagogy includes three dimensions, as articulated by Lee Shulman (2005):

  1. Teaching is deliberate, pervasive and persistent. It challenges assumptions, engages in action, and requires ongoing assessment and accountability.
  2. Teaching and learning are grounded in theory, research, and in problems of practice. It leads to habits of mind, hand, and heart that can and will be applied to authentic professional settings.
  3. Teaching helps students develop a critical and professional stance with a moral and ethical imperative for equity and social justice. 

Inquiry as Practice: Inquiry as Practice is the process of posing significant questions that focus on complex problems of practice. By using various research, theories, and professional wisdom, scholarly practitioners design innovative solutions to address the problems of practice. At the center of Inquiry of Practice is the ability to use data to understand the effects of innovation. As such, Inquiry of Practice requires the ability to gather, organize, judge, aggregate, and analyze situations, literature, and data with a critical lens.

Laboratories of Practice: Laboratories of Practice are settings where theory and practice inform and enrich each other. They address complex problems of practice where ideas—formed by the intersection of theory, inquiry, and practice—can be implemented, measured, and analyzed for the impact made.  Laboratories of Practice facilitate transformative and generative learning that is measured by the development of scholarly expertise and implementation of practice.

Dissertation in Practice: The Dissertation in Practice is a scholarly endeavor that impacts a complex problem of practice.

Problem of Practice: A Problem of Practice is as a persistent, contextualized, and specific issue embedded in the work of a professional practitioner, the addressing of which has the potential to result in improved understanding, experience, and outcomes.