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Ed.D in Teaching English or PhD in Curriculum and Teaching?


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Hey, everyone.

I’m kind of confused about these two degrees. For an Ed.D, I’ve often heard that it’s more clinical and you apply it to your practice. For the PhD, it’s more about research. Which one would be best suited for my goals? Here’s a brief overview of my goals:

I’d love to become a stronger educator, both at the K-12 and college level. I teach high school English now, but I want to better my pedagogy. 

I want the opportunity to teach college students (future teachers) someday. 

I’m leaning towards the Ed.D, but I worry it’s not as well respected. I’d love to hear thoughts about the pros and cons of both degrees. 

Thank you so much! ?


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I personally chose to apply to EdD programs. I'm also planning on staying in k-12 education but want the opportunity to teach future k-12 teachers. I don't have a specific area of focus that I would want to spend years researching as a PhD student, and am not really interested in spending my career focused on theoretical research, but instead want to apply changes and research to my practice. Through looking at different programs, it seemed like EdD programs aligned better with what my future goals are, but I'm still waiting on my application so maybe someone who's actively in either of these programs will have some better insight than I do. I was also concerned about the reputability of EdD vs PhD, mostly with having to explain to family, friends, or coworkers that yes, I have a doctorate, but no it's not a PhD. Ultimately for me that seemed like a silly reason to not pursue the degree that I thought would best align with what I want, but I completely understand it being a swaying factor.

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It sounds like an EdD might be better for your goals. You are right, a PhD is a *research* degree, and if you aren't interested in research, not a good fit.

With an EdD (or even a Masters and experience) you can find adjunct faculty gigs, but unless your EdD is a research-focused EdD (there are some places that do these), you are unlikely to be able to obtain a full-time faculty job at a reputable university.

As you look at programs, see where their graduates are working now. If they don't have this highlighted on their website, it's definitely ok to ask.

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