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Kelly Hart Defends Doctoral Dissertation at CSE

Kelly Hart Defends Doctoral Dissertation at CSE

Morristown, N.J. (February 8, 2018) – Kelly Hart of Landing, N.J., has successfully defended her doctoral dissertation at the College of Saint Elizabeth to earn an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership.

"When I was looking for programs to pursue my doctorate degree, I was very careful to choose one that would allow me to maintain a busy lifestyle," says Hart, who is currently the Supervisor of Educational Technology in the East Hanover School District. "This program is structured to allow education professionals to give 100% to both their jobs in schools as well as their dissertation."

The title of her dissertation is, "Examining the Implementation of Project-Based Learning in Support of Integrative STEM Education." Hart used her research to identify and evaluate best teaching practices used to deliver project-based learning instruction in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) content areas. Project-based learning is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge by investigating and responding to an authentic, engaging and complex question, problem, or challenge.

Hart's research addressed the preparedness of teachers to support students as they learn STEM content beginning in the elementary grades. When analyzing the data, she discovered that while teachers and administrators believe in the merit of project-based learning in support of STEM education, teachers feel minimally prepared to provide STEM instruction in this way.

Hart earned her bachelor's in elementary education and math, science and technology from The College of New Jersey and a master's degree in educational leadership from Montclair State University.

The doctoral program at CSE, which is dedicated to preparing leaders who are committed to social justice and ethical practice, began in August 2007. Integrated into all course work and learning activities are the central values and beliefs necessary for school leaders to function as morally purposeful stewards for their school communities. This philosophy of servant leadership represents a major shift from the traditional paradigm of school leaders as managers of resources, which is so prevalent in today's practices.

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