So I am going back to school

to finish my doctorate.

I abandoned my previous attempt almost 20 years ago with a dissertation almost half written for a variety of reasons I choose not to revisit now.  In the meantime, my interests had changed greatly and I was no longer excited by the topic on which I had been working.

I had explored picking things up, but most of what I explored would have required me to retake all the courses I had already completed.

But then I found a program where I could, over two years, simply write my dissertation, if they were willing to accept my now very dated course work,

So I decided to apply. 

I wrote in my application the following:



I am now still teaching having just passed my 74th birthday. I have  committed to teach full time for another 3 years. I will have few commitments outside my classroom and thus have the time and energy to write a dissertation.  But I would have to start the dissertation over, because my interests have changed. I am now interested in exploring the way teachers are involved in the making of educational policy at all levels, from individual schools all the way through the Federal government.  There are many examples of which I am already aware, and I have had some personal experience in doing that. It is my belief that a thorough examination of the approaches that have been done can assist in guiding officials at all levels of government as we consider the governance of our public schools.

I now teach in a Catholic high school, but most of my career has been in public schools. I have personally experienced the ability as a teacher to participate in the process of policy to some degree at all of the levels, in large part because of my writing on education. Along the way I have become aware of others who have done so either through personal connections, as has been my own experience, or as a result of formal structures intended include the voices and experiences of teachers in the making of policy.

On Tuesday I received the following in an email:

Dear Kenneth,

Congratulations! You have been accepted into the A.B.D., Concentration in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education program at Alverno College for the Fall 2020 semester. As an Alverno student, you will experience our unique approach to teaching and learning that has earned Alverno an international reputation for academic excellence. We look forward to assisting you in a graduate experience designed to challenge you and to help you reach your career goals.

In reviewing your application materials, we were particularly impressed by the length and breadth of your career as a social studies educator. As you commence your doctoral studies, we envision you contributing powerfully to the Ed.D. cohort through your investigations of teachers’ roles in policy-making at multiple levels.

So I have put down my deposit, joined the Facebook group for my cohort, am in the process of gathering official copies of transcripts from the TEN institutions of higher education from which I have credits.

It probably did not hurt that the two recommendations I submitted were from a nationally known figure in education and from my principal who wrote me a very strong recommendation.

Let me explain a bit more below the fold.