Faculty Spotlight: Revolution from the ground up

A visit with Jane Lohmann, EdD

In Dr. Jane Lohmann’s world, theory and practice are never too far apart. That’s not surprising for a woman whose career path has led her from the hands-on, skills-based realm of outdoor education to high school teaching to advanced degrees in Human Development, and now to her role as faculty in the Doctor of Education program. Dr. Lohmann is also the cochair of the Curriculum, Teaching, Learning, and Leadership concentration.

“Doctor of Education work is extremely interesting, important, and sophisticated because it draws together all of these different social sciences, but it’s not a strictly intellectual endeavor,” notes Dr. Lohmann. “It’s an endeavor that has to have its feet on the ground and in the mud. Folks who pursue a doctorate in Education have to be in both places at once.”

It’s only at the intersection of theory and practice where Dr. Lohmann believes, “We can, in a ground-up way, change systems. Doctoral work is, fundamentally, a ground-up revolution.” For Dr. Lohmann, this ensures that people pursuing a doctorate in Education are focused on putting ideas into practice in wise and deliberate ways that consider context, environments, and people. “The objective is to move practice forward in ways that are not so top-down,” she says.

“For me, theory lives in ways that aren’t so complicated,” Dr. Lohmann says. “It’s life and the way we come to understand each other and the places we’re in. We can then use theory to focus better, to consider the biases we bring to problems, and to collaborate better with others so we can address injustice and inequity in educational practice and move it forward.”

Dr. Lohmann explains how the scholar-practitioner model drives the Doctor of Education program.