Ranjini Mahinda JohnBull

Ranjini Mahinda JohnBull, PhD is an assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Education serving as the faculty lead for the Mind, Brain, and Teaching program area and teaching in the doctoral and masters programs. Her research focuses on teacher self-efficacy, cultural competence and multicultural identity development, and arts-integration and culturally relevant neuroeducation interventions that improve teacher and student outcomes. Dr. JohnBull earned a BA from Washington University in St. Louis, an MEd and PhD in Education Leadership both from University of Virginia’s School of Education and Human Development. Prior to her appointment as an assistant professor, she served as a postdoctoral research fellow at JHU SOE working on an IES-funded study of student memory in arts-integrated science classrooms. Prior to JHU, Dr. JohnBull served as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in rural eastern Uganda to collaboratively support and enhance education, health, and finance projects. Before Peace Corps Uganda, she was a music teacher in two St. Louis city charter elementary and middle schools.

Books by Ranjini Mahinda JohnBull:

Transforming Identities
How an EdD Program Develops Practitioners into Scholar-Practitioners

Transforming Identities is the story of one doctoral program that was developed to transform the individuals who participated in the program personally and professionally, leading to improved ways of working within their professional practice. The book details the components of the program believed to have contributed to students' transformed personal and professional identities. The description of the program serves as a frame for 14 individual, compelling stories of transformation. These stories include identities experienced during the program, programmatic components that were mechanisms for change, and the impact of these alums' transformation on their professional organizations. In the final chapter, the editors look across the alums' stories of transformation to inform those who are developing/redeveloping doctor of education programs. Mechanisms of change highlighted by these former students include courses, communities of practice, advisers, and comprehensive examination. The book also synthesizes alums' descriptions of the phases of their transformation, what it means to be a scholar-practitioner, and what meaningful contributions “look like” within their professional contexts.

The Johns Hopkins University (JHU) Doctor of Education (EdD) program was created with the expressed programmatic outcome of developing leaders who possess the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to rigorously examine educational problems of practice with stakeholders within their context of professional practice. Transforming Identities frames this discussion of identity transformation from an improvement science perspective as depicted by Bryk et al. (2015) (see also Author et al., 2022). Using this framework for the Applied Dissertation, the program supported its scholar-practitioners to partner with their colleagues in educational institutions and to independently take on the challenges and opportunities they encountered in their work within their context of professional practice. The initial chapters in the book provide an overview of the EdD program, to frame the remaining chapters in which graduates from the program describe their inspirational stories of transformation. They describe the ways in which the program components, including their dissertation, transformed their identity as well as their work within their context of professional practice. These stories present the ways in which these change agents within their organizations have served as insiders who, with greater knowledge and access to knowledge, were able to become the bridge between research and practice, and practice and research and thereby change their organizations from the inside. These stories of transformation highlight how their skills and insights accurately identify the variability in the contexts in which their problem of practice is situated, the variability in the successes of interventions within similar contexts, and the most appropriate way to move the organization forward toward improved outcomes. Each chapter tells the author’s story of transformation from practitioner to scholar-practitioner through the dissertation study and beyond.

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