An Ed.D. Program that Equips Thinkers to Make Decisions

By Jeffrey Savage on June 23, 2017

Decisions, especially big and important ones, require thinking. But there are always different ways of thinking to come to a conclusion.

We often say that our Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership and Development program will help you make "evidence-based decisions" and is "theory-informed but practitioner-focused."

But, what does that mean?

Let's look at an example: the myth of learning styles.

The Myth of Learning Styles

If you've been around education or corporate training circles, you might of heard what's known as the "meshing hypothesis." This states that people learn best when a teaching style is matched to their preferred learning style.

The problem? Well, it's not true.

In two reviews of the literature, Pashler and his colleagues (2009) and Cuevas (2015) found no evidence for either the meshing hypothesis (that instruction should match one's learning style) or that even considering learning styles in planning instruction improved performance.

While we do still have learning styles, this means that these preferences do not translate into improved learning with instruction tailored to meet this style.

So, why highlight the learning styles myth?

To point out what we mean by evidence-based decision-making that is theory-informed but practitioner-focused.

It is exactly this information that you learn when pursuing doctoral education at Cornerstone.

You also learn the term for it—the "conditionality of heuristics."

The Conditionality of Heuristics

This phrase means that in business and management, like all social sciences, the "truths" we arrive at are not scientific truths like the germ theory of disease. Instead, our truths are usually explanatory frameworks, heuristics, that we have found useful to help make decisions, to process our day or to supervise others.

When you approach these iron-clad truths in this way, as conditionally helpful heuristics, you'll be in a better place to make wise decisions.


In the Ed.D. program, you learn the difference between scientific theory that has predictive strength and explanatory power versus explanatory frameworks that might help you make decisions at work; but these should be approached with skepticism and humility when influencing others.

In the end, what an Ed.D. program influences you to do is to think in terms of ideas, authors, research, concepts, theory and practice, evidence-based theory and practice, that can help you transform the way you make decisions for your company, church, school or business.

Make the Decision to Further Your Education

The Doctorate of Education in Organizational Leadership and Development at PGS equips students to make decisions and make them well.



  • Cuevas, J. (2015). Is learning styles-based instruction effective? A comprehensive analysis of recent research on learning styles. Theory and Research in Education, 13(3), 308-333.
  • Page, S. (2012). Beware of false prophets [lecture]. In The hidden factor: Why thinking differently is your greatest asset [lecture series]. Available from The Great Courses at
  • Pashler, H., McDaniel, M., Rohrer, D., and Bjork, R. (2009). Learning styles concepts and evidence. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 9(3), 105- 119.
  • Rosenzweig, P. (2007). Halo effect . . . and the other business delusions that deceive managers. New York, NY: Free Press.
Categories: Leadership, Vocation