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Educ 720 - Theories of International Development for Educators

Draft syllabus Final version available in class

Course Web Site:
David R. Evans, 285 Hills South
Thursdays 1-4 PM    273 Hills South


This course is based on the premise that every educator working in the develo­p­ing world needs to have a basic understanding of the different theore­tical approa­ches to explaining the development process and their implications for the role of education in the development process.

1. The course will begin by examining participants' beliefs about the nature of develop­ment, and then will pro­ceed to analyze the various theories of development and their emergence from Capitalist and Marxist/Socialist analytic frameworks.

2. Four general schools of thought and a variety of alternative approaches to development will be studied individual­ly and com­paratively, in terms of the social science paradigm from which they come.

3. The role of education in the development process will be examined for each of the major theories along with the implications for the actions of profes­sionals working in the field of education.

4. Each participant will be expected to develop a personal position on the nature of development and to write a paper that sets out their position and its support­ing rationale.


To be able to articulate the following for each major development theory:

To understand the nature of the evidence available to support the theory the role assumed or prescribed for education by the various theories.

To develop a personal approach to development based on reading, experience and reflection and articu­late a rationale for that approach.


The course will combine brief lectures and exercises with group work and group presentations. Each of the four general approaches to development will be analyzed and pre­sented to the class by a small group. The process of developing a personal position paper on development will be facilitated by a variety of sharing exercises designed to assist in the clarification of values and assumptions which necessarily underlie personal choices. Participants will have the opportunity to:

Study relevant material on major development theories through indivi­dual reading and research, group analysis, dialogue, and col­lective reflec­tion.

Examine, discuss, and postulate linkages between specific forms of educa­tion and their correspon­dent theories of development.

Formulate a personal approach to development and reflect on its implications for their professional actions during their career.

The methodology to be used seeks to balance the introduction of works by recog­nized authorities, working from a variety of ideological positions, with the exper­ience of the participants, who will have the opportunity to critical­ly review and reflect on the material presented.


While the course has no formal prerequisites, participants generally will be ex­pected to have had personal contact with the development process by working in some aspect of education in a develop­ing country setting.


The following are the minimal requirements:

NOTE: This course will be marked on a Pass/Fail basis. Master's candidates who need a letter grade may obtain one if they submit a request to that effect in writ­ing to the instructor by the 4th class meeting.


The required texts are listed below. They can be purchased at the Food for Thought bookstore in downtown Amherst. (Near CVS) A bound copy of the Collected Readings will be available in class. The additional references are suggestions to supplement the required texts they are not on reserve in the library or in bookstores. Some can be ordered from Amazon or Barnes & Noble on line.

Required Texts

Collected Readings for 720: Development Theories for Educators. Xeroxed, bound set of readings.

Brohman, John. (1996). Popular Development: Rethinking the Theory & Practice of Development . Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, Ltd.

Peet, R. with Hartwick, E. (2009). Theories of Development. New York: The Guilford Press.

Additional References (See Library and Local Bookstores not on reserve)

Arndt, H.W. (1987). Economic Development: The History of an Idea. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Black, J. K. (1999). Development in Theory and Practice: Paradigms and Paradoxes. Second Edition. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press.

Baron, S., Field, J. & Schuller, T. (eds.). (2000). Social Capital: Critical Perspectives. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Carnoy, M. & Samoff, J. (1990). Education and Social Transition in the Third World. Princeton: Prince­ton University Press.

Cypher, J. M. & Dietz, J.L. (1997). The Process of Economic Development. New York: Routledge.

Eade, D. (Ed.). (2002). Development and Culture . London: Oxfam.

Escobar, Arturo. (1995). Encountering Development: The Making and Unmaking of the Third World. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press.

Hall, A. & Midgley, J. (2004). Social Policy for Development . Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Holloway, Richard. (1989). Doing Development: Governments, NGOs and the Rural Poor in Asia. London: Earthscan Publications Ltd.

Hoogvelt, Ankie. (1997). Globalization and the Postcolonial World: The New Political Economy of Development. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press.

Martinussen, John. (1997). Society, State & Market: A Guide to Competing Theories of Development. London: Zed Books.

Meier, G. M & Stiglitz, J. E. (Eds.). (2001). Frontiers of Development Economics. Washington, D.C.: The World Bank and Oxford University Press.

Munck, R. & O'Hearn, D. (eds.). (1999). Critical Development Theory: Contributions to a New Paradigm. London: Zed Books.

Norgaard, Richard. (1994) . Development Betrayed. London: Routledge.

Parfitt, Trevor. (2002). The End of Development: Modernity, post- Modernity and Development. London: Pluto Press.

Preston, Peter. (1996). Development Theory: An Introduction to the Analysis of Complex Change . London: Blackwell Publishers.

Rist, Gilbert. (1997). The History of Development: from Western Origins to Global Faith. London: Zed Books.

Sen, Amatya. (1999). Development as Freedom. New York: Random House, Inc.

So, Alvin Y. (1990).. Social Change and Development: Modernization, Dependency, and World-System Theories . Sage Library of Social Research 178. Newbury Park: Sage Publications.

Todaro, M. P. & Smith, S.C. (2005). Economic Development. Ninth Edition. Boston: Addison Wesley.

UNDP. (2001). Human Development Report 2001. New York: UNDP & Oxford Univ. Press.