Fields of Study

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The Joint PhD in Educational Studies Program provides opportunities for study in the areas of Cognition & Learning,  Educational Leadership & Policy Studies, and Social/Cultural/Political Contexts of Education.  Please see the below table for a description of each Field of Study available within the program:

Cognition and Learning


  • Critically examines the cognitive, behavioral, social-emotional, and cultural processes of educators and students by drawing upon psychology, philosophy, sociology, sciences, and other disciplines.
  • Integral components of the field include:
    • contemporary and inclusive instruction
    • wellness
    • assessment and evaluation
    • professional development
    • curriculum development and implementation
    • metacognition and executive function
    • learning theories
Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
  • Encompasses four broad content areas: policy, organizational theory, leadership, and change.
  • Explores the ethical, social, cultural, philosophical, and historical aspects of educational policy, leadership, and organizations.
  • Draws upon the theoretical and methodological frameworks that situate the major issues, challenging institutional and community educational systems and practices within their larger socio-political, socio-cultural, and curricular contexts.
Social/Cultural/Political Contexts of Education
  • Draws upon the humanities, sociology, cultural studies, anthropology, history, politics, and arts in relation to education.
  • Goal is to foster emancipatory research and democratic practice in institutional and community settings.
  • Consideration is given to, but not limited to, social constructs of race, class, gender, sexuality, and ability/disability, and how they intersect with and influence educational experience and practice.

Fields of Study, Student Learner

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