Specialization in Teaching, Learning and Leadership
Ph.D. in Leadership Studies
Department of Leadership Studies
The teaching, learning, and leadership specialization within the leadership studies PhD program is designed to prepare the next generation of teacher educators, educational researchers, educational innovators, school and district leaders, and policy makers in K-12 education. The program blends a strong research and policy foundation with practical opportunities to engage in strengthening teaching and learning in local and global contexts. Throughout their coursework, research and field-based experiences, doctoral students will work alongside faculty from both the Department of Leadership Studies and the Department of Learning and Teaching with the expertise to support students in deepening their instructional knowledge, building their leadership capacity and expanding their professional opportunities. Applicants for the Teaching, Learning, and Leadership specialization will be expected to demonstrate significant interest and substantial experience related to K-12 education. This specialization replaces the former specialization in PK-12 Public/Private School Leadership
"The SOLES faculty make it their mission to provide doctoral candidates with a curriculum that is not only relevant, but also rooted in real world experience."
- Rich Newman '05
Our doctoral program empowers students to make a difference. Since graduating, Newman has worked on an education leadership initiative with the nationally recognized Wallace Foundation, served as principal of two elementary schools, and is currently Director of Learning Support Services at Poway Unified School District.
Other alumni job titles include:
- Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum
- Director of Assessment
- Executive Director
- Head of School
- Teacher Education Department Chair
- Educational Researcher
The PhD in leadership studies in the Department of Leadership Studies offers students an outstanding foundation in leadership theory and practice, as well as in research methodology. Students also specialize in a particular area of leadership through elective coursework and research.
As with all specializations for the PhD program, students in the teaching, learning and leadership specialization will be required to complete and defend a dissertation. The focus of the dissertation for students in the teaching, learning, and leadership specialization should address one or more aspects of K-12 education, teacher education, teacher professional growth, educational reform or education policy.
- Personalized faculty advising to tailor course selection to student needs
- Opportunity for short-term coursework abroad, taught by Leadership Studies and/or Learning and Teaching faculty
- Interaction with students in other leadership specializations, such as organizational leadership, higher education leadership, and nonprofit leadership, for a broader learning experience
- Opportunity to build knowledge and expertise in conducting research, analyzing educational policy and practice, and developing innovative uses of educational technology
- Examination of educational outcomes with focused attention on the racialized, class-based and gendered school experiences on a national and international level.
The Teaching, Learning and Leadership specialization coursework which is designed to address three major areas: Teacher education and professional learning, K-12 teaching and learning, and Education policy. These courses include:
|Area||Course Title||Graduate Units|
|Teacher Education and
|Research, Policy and Practice in Teacher Education and Professional Development||3|
|Teacher Education Lab||3|
|Professional Development Lab|
|K-12 Teaching and
|Assessment and Evaluation of Teaching and Learning||3|
|Technology and Educational Innovation||3|
|Education Policy||Seminar on the Law and Politics of Educational Policy and Development||3|
|Sociology of Education Seminar|
Students in the Teaching, Learning, and Leadership specialization will be required to take at least one course in each of these three areas above. The balance of the 18-unit specialization may be distributed across areas based on the candidate’s interests and goals with the approval of the student's academic advisor. In addition to the above courses, students, in consultation with their advisor, may select upto 6 units from 500 level courses listed below or other 600-level courses offered.
|Course Code||Course Title||Graduate Units|
|EDUC 510||Cognition and Learning||3|
|EDUC 511||Educational Reform||3|
|EDUC 597||Historical Struggles for Educational Equity||3|
|LEAD 552||School Law||3|
|LEAD 573||The Economics of Education||3|
Students preparing for research careers are advised to take additional upper level research methodology courses.
The 18-unit specialization is in addition to the core leadership and research courses included in the doctoral program of study.
For information on how to apply to the Ph.D. in Leadership Studies with a specialization in Teaching, Learning and Leadership, visit the main PhD program page.