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International Education Courses

Updated May 6, 2013


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Bjorn Nordtveit


Spring 2013 – International Education
Course Offerings








793W Master's Seminar
Rossman - 275 HS


no classes

Gender Issues in International Education
275 HS

Center Committee Meetings – no classes


Critical Discourse Analysis in International Contexts
Nordtveit - 275HS

Education in Fragile States
275 HS

Teacher Education in Developing Countries
Evans - 275 HS

NGOs & Inernational Development




Qualitative Research Methods
Rossman – 275 HS


Introduction to International Education
Mosselson – tba

Social Theories of Education
Kamat -


Spring 2013 Course Descriptions
Click on titles in blue for example syllabus
Most Syllabi are from previous semesters - current ones available in class

Educ 229 Introduction to International Education
(Mosselson) – Tuesday 5:45 - 8:15pm - Location TBA    

Education is emerging as a vital piece of the civil rights movement, both on the local and global levels.  It is a powerful force that spurs national growth and development.  This course attempts to develop and encourage an understanding of educational problems shared through the interconnected and continuously globalizing ‘developed’ and ‘developing’ worlds.  Students are introduced to a variety of environments in which education takes place, and are asked to analyze learning, education and development in non-US and non-Western settings.  The course also provides perspectives on ‘Third World’ history and development as they relate to education and learning.  Topics that you will study in this course include non-Western educational perspectives, traditions and approaches; colonialism and its impact on education and learning; and dilemmas and issues in education and international development.

All students need to sign up for the lecture and a discussion session. Students enrolled for four credits will also participate in a Community Service Learning project working with migrant and immigrant youth in Holyoke or Springfield and will need to sign up for an additional Lab session.

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Educ 619 - Qualitative Research Methods
(Gretchen Rossman) Monday 4-6:30pm - 287 Hills South    Offline - Contact Instructor

This course provides an introduction to the assumptions, language, logic, and methods of qualitative inquiry in a variety of settings. The emphasis is on the modes of thinking and specific practices associated with generic as well as collaborative approaches to qualitative research. We discuss paradigms, their usefulness in understanding the assumptions implicit in all inquiry, and the typical assumptions of qualitative inquiry. We also focus on conceptualizing and designing qualitative studies and discuss strategies for developing researchable questions and the issues associated with involving participants in the research process. The major work of the course is the conduct of a small-scale qualitative research project which entails a number of activities: (1) designing the project; (2) negotiating agreement to conduct inquiry; (3) practicing the specific methods typically used in qualitative research: interviewing, observing, and document or artifact review; (4) analyzing and interpreting the data gathered through the fieldwork; and (5) writing up the process and findings in a set of coherent and well-argued papers. Since learning about qualitative research is best accomplished by doing it, immersion in the course and its work is essential and typically requires a substantial time commitment.. Permission of the instructor required

Through readings, discussion, class exercises and assignments, we will work through the following topics:

• the assumptions and theoretical traditions of qualitative research;
• the role of the researcher in qualitative inquiry;
• preparing for fieldwork and negotiating agreement about the inquiry;
• typical qualitative data collection methods;
• collecting and organizing data in the field;
• analyzing and interpreting qualitative data;
• ensuring accurate, rich, and useful qualitative studies;
• ethical and political dilemmas in qualitative research; and
• writing the research report.

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Educ 626 - Social Theories of Education
(Kamat) Wednesday 7-9:30pm    Location TBA

Course examines social theories and their contributions to education theory and practice.  For doctoral students seeking a comprehensive introductory course in theoretical foundations in education.

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Educ 744 - NGOs & International Development
(Kamat) Thursday 1-4pm    Furcolo 22A

This course explores the theory and practice of non governmental organizations (NGOs) with case studies from different countries.  The course evaluates the impact of NGOs on institutional building, NGO management processes including accountability, transparency, and NGO-government-donor relationships.

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Educ 752 - Gender Issues in International Education
(Mosselson) – Wednesday 9-12noon - 275 Hills South

This course focuses on the intersection between development, education - both formal and nonformal - and gender relations. The overall goal is for you to become familiar with the theories, research, and strategies for policy and practice to make development and education more gender equitable. The objectives for this course are listed below.

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Describe the different theoretical perspectives on gender, empowerment and development.
  • Identify potential benefits or outcomes--socio-cultural, health, economic, and/or political/legal--of gender equity in Development and education.
  • Identify the key factors--socio-cultural, health, economic, political/legal at the local, national and global level-- influencing girls' and women's access to high quality education.
  • List strategies for fostering participation of women and girls, in particular, in development projects.
  • Describe gender-sensitive analytic frameworks and policies for reducing the gender gap in education.
  • Cite a range of strategies and approaches for making education more accessible, effective, and gender equitable.
  • Articulate a particular gender-related problem in international development, along with a strategy for solving that problem.

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Educ 782 - Teacher Education in Developing Countries
(Evans) -- Wednesday 1-4 pm           275 Hills South  

This seminar will focus on the challenges of teacher education in low-resource contexts with many examples drawn from Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Until recently the majority of the writing and research on teacher education has been rooted in the context of the US or Europe. Now however, much work has been done on problems and possible solutions to teacher development and management in the developing world. The class will focus on issues in teacher education such as: methods vs. content mastery; meaningful teaching practice in low-resource contexts; alternative models for teaching practice; the balance between in-service and pre-service approaches; teacher ability levels in the language of instruction; vernacular vs. national language instruction; teacher support; teacher supervision and upgrading; and so on. Participants will be expected to help seek out relevant research and writing from different areas of the world of interest to them. Topics will include national-level policy issues, models of implementation, and evaluations of various approaches. We expect that many participants will bring experience in developing contexts to the class which will serve as a resource for other learners.

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Educ 793 - International Education Master's Seminar
(Rossman) – Monday 9-12 noon – 275 Hills South    Offline - Contact Instructor

This seminar is intended to provide advanced Master’s students with guidance in conceptualizing, conducting and writing up their Master’s projects. It offers a mixture of group planning and support as well as guided individual study for those students in international education who are working on their projects.

The seminar is divided roughly into three phases. During the first phase, we will work together as a small seminar clarifying and refining the plan for completion of the Master’s project. During this phase, students work with the seminar and their advisor to develop a full outline for the project. For those who have not yet completed a prospectus, this phase will serve as orientation to the timeline for completing the project. During the second phase, seminar members work independently and in bi-weekly meetings of everyone on their projects. Consultations are arranged as needed to ensure progress on the project. The second phase is designed for discussion of problems or issues that have arisen as the projects develop. The third phase entails weekly meetings to share progress, receive feedback on written work, and prepare for the presentation of the Master’s project at a Center meeting. Students will be automatically enrolled - you cannot enroll online.

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Educ 794J - Education in Fragile & Conflict Environments
Nordtveit) -- Tuesday 1-4pm -  275 Hills South        

Conflict, displacement, insecurity, and natural disasters prevent millions of children from attending basic education. Armed conflict alone is leading to more than 28 million children who are targets of sexual violence, worst forms of child labor (including being forced into work as child soldiers) and other forms of abuse.

Recently, an increased international acceptance that education is an important element of humanitarian work has led to a rise in education programs in crisis settings. It is now recognized that the provision of various kinds of education in the different phases of emergencies, insecurity (including situations of displacement), chronic crises and early reconstruction is necessary to provide survival skills (e.g., landmine and unexploded ordnance awareness); to re-establish a sense of normalcy (and thus build resilience); at the same time as ensuring the safety of children, teachers and staff. In many cases schools may need to provide non-educational services, such as basic medical treatment and vaccination.

This course will build skills for education system-specific conflict analysis and “early warning” evaluation; provide instruments to assess the impact of conflicts and fragility on education assistance; as well as evaluation of peace education measures. Further, the course objective is to examine opportunities for establishing learning environments that prevent and ameliorate social conflict leading to violence.

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Educ 870 - Critical Discourse Analysis in International Contexts
Nordtveit) -- Monday 1-4pm -  275 Hills South

Discourse analysis examines how social and power relations, identities, and knowledge are constructed through written, visual, and spoken texts. This course provides an introduction to discourse analytic approaches to research in international education policy and development. We will consider discourse analysis as theory and method through an interdisciplinary lens, by studying three core traditions of analysis, including discourse theory, critical discourse analysis and discursive psychology.

The course demonstrates tools to analyze policy texts and to assess underlying symbols and imagery of policy in the form of spoken statements, publicity, posters and awareness-raising messages, photos and movies. Students will have the opportunities to apply various analytic methods to conduct hands-on research in their field of interest.

Course Objectives

After successful completion of this course, students will

  • Understand the theoretical and methodological traditions that inform current uses of discourse analysis in educational and development research;
  • Identify appropriate methods and uses of discourse analysis in research as determined by research questions and purposes;
  • Use quantitative software tools (such as word mapping tools) to analyze education and development-related texts, posters, and images;
  • Apply various approaches of discourse analysis to research in international education and development policy formation and implementation.       
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