Journal of Educational Leadership in Action


The purpose of this qualitative study is to explore how EdD students initially view educational research and themselves as researchers before taking their first required research course. This study used four types of qualitative data analysis methods: domain, taxonomic, componential, and text mining. The findings suggest that the EdD students are able to identity several attributes of research, but there is a dissonance on the attributes aligned with upper academic research. The students understand the importance of research to educational practices, but do not have sufficient understanding about research methods and methodologies. Their views of what research is are formal but their views on who does research is informal. Recommendations for EdD research course designs are offered.


Chen Zong is a PhD candidate who studies Research, Assessment and Evaluation at CU Denver in the School of Education and Human Development. Chen’s research interests include research course teaching and learning in higher education and educational large-scale data analysis for policy and practice improvement.

Courtney Donovan is a Clinical Assistant Professor at CU Denver in the School of Education and Human Development. She teaches graduate level research methods, qualitative analysis, and statistical modeling. Courtney's research interests revolve around the research-to-practice gap as she believes educational research should directly work to improve and impact practitioners.

Dara Marin Prais is a doctoral student at CU Denver, studying Research, Assessment and Evaluation, in the School of Education and Human Development. As a teacher of color, and former K-12 general and special educator, Dara’s research interests include educational equity and diversity, with a specific focus related to supporting students and teachers from all backgrounds.

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.