The Ph.D. in Teaching, Learning, and Culture will prepare professionals who will conduct research that will enhance the national debate about aims in education, standards, and equity, especially for the U.S./Mexico border region and the State of Texas.
The program seeks to develop knowledge in important areas relevant to urban education, the southwest border region, Texas, and beyond. Graduates will be knowledgeable about implications of shifting demographics and cross-cultural teaching and learning. They also will be prepared to:
- Conduct research using appropriate methodologies to study curriculum and instruction;
- Design innovative instructional strategies to promote the cognitive and social development of all learners;
- Expand on the existing pedagogical knowledge base about learners from linguistically and culturally diverse backgrounds;
- Utilize effective and innovative educational research and evaluation designs and processes;
- Provide significant contributions to the research literature on educational reform.
The program of studies for the Ph.D. includes prescribed courses for the core, research, and the professional focus area components. Each student will work with their advisers to develop a program of study and research that meets student interests and that takes advantage of the various courses offered in different focus areas within each strand (for example, math education, socio-cultural foundations, or literacy coursework). The electives allow doctoral students to concentrate their additional coursework in an area related to their planned dissertation research. Among the program’s unique features are the “Portfolio and Proposal” courses that help and support students identify and develop their dissertation topic. Another exceptional course is the “Doctoral Seminar in Education” where students may meet with faculty and other professionals to share professional interests, network, and brainstorm in their designated research areas. Students must have completed a master's degree and a minimum of three years teaching experience or equivalent before they enroll in the program.
Admitted students may select their two advisers who will guide and mentor them through the program, including department and University requirements and procedures. Students will select a dissertation committee chair and members as they approach completion of their coursework. The chair will serve as the primary adviser through the completion of the dissertation.
Enrollment in the program is by cohorts to help support and foster a learning community and to allow the department to better meet their course scheduling needs. The first cohort was accepted into the program during the fall 2008 semester and the students began their first courses in spring 2009.