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International Education Courses

Updated April 2, 2014


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Bjorn Nordtveit


Spring 2014 – International Education
Course Offerings








Masters Seminar
Evans - 287 HS

Tuesday Dialogue

no classes

NGO's & International Development
Kamat -
22A Furcolo

Center Committee Meetings – no classes


Qualitative Research Methods
Rossman - 275 HS

Development Theories for Educators
Nordtveit - 275 HS

870 New Course
Intro to Research Methods in International Contexts
Nordtveit -
275 HS

Training for NFE
Smith -22B Furcolo



229   5:45-8:15pm
Introduction to International Education
Smith – tba





S13 CIE graduates

Spring 2014 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
(Cristine Smith) – Tuesday 5:45- 8:15pm - Location TBA    

Education is a powerful force that spurs national growth and development.  This course attempts to develop and encourage an understanding of the drivers, challenges and outcomes (benefits and liabilities) of education.  We will examine issues related to the interconnectedness and continuously globalizing “developed” and “developing” countries.

In the first part of the course, we will discuss a variety of grand social narratives about education and its impact on development, including beliefs about the outcomes of education.  We will then examine topics that shape or drive education; for example, cultural values, history, politics, globalization and the legacy of colonization.  We will turn to a discussion of the challenges to education, including how education is influenced by war, limited resources, gender and cultural issues, and child labor.

The three main questions we will be discussing in this course include:

  • What are the drivers of education?  Who makes decisions about education, and why?
  • What are the challenges to education?  What are the supports and barriers to making access to high-quality education universally available?
  • What are the outcomes of education?  What do we know about the benefits and liabilities of getting an education?

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Educ 619 - Qualitative Research Methods
(Rossman) - Monday 1-4 pm           275 Hills South

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 649 - Training for NFE
(Cristine Smith ) Thursday 1-4 pm - 275 Hills South    

The purpose of this course is to help you develop the skills you need to design training programs for adult learners in non-formal education, human services, and community development.  The goal is to prepare you to:

  • Develop your philosophy of training:  how is training different from teaching?  What is participatory training?
  • Consider how to assess the needs of training participants
  • Support the rationale for training
  • Write training objectives
  • Find, read and analyze training activities:  how, when and why would you use particular activities?
  • Create and facilitate training activities of your own (peer training)
  • Consider the “flow” of training: from individual to small group to large group activities; balancing theory and practice; deciding upon the best training span (training over multiple sessions and time); determining the appropriate reading and handout load; deciding whether or not to give “assignments” to participants
  • Observe others’ facilitation skills and provide constructive feedback
  • Plan training evaluation activities:  how did the training affect participants’ thinking, feeling and acting?
  • Write up training in written form so that others can use your training
  • Design training of trainers

The course will be relevant to those interested in designing training for both international and U.S.-based training contexts.

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Educ 720 Development Theories for Educators
(Nordtveit)      Tuesday 1-4 pm – 275 Hills South

This course examines various theories of social and economic development, including growth and critical theories.The course also looks at alternative lenses for development including feminist approaches, development ethics, sustainable development, ecological approaches, and human rights perspectives. It identifies the assumptions, underlying values, and operational principles characteristic of specific theories and explores their implications for development-related work. The course also offers a theoretical perspective for analyzing the role played by education in different development perspectives.

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744 NGOs & International Development
(Kamat) -- Wednesday 9-12 noon- 22A Furcolo

We will examine critical research and policy issues concerning the NGO sector across different scales of operation -- local communities, government agencies, international donors, and multi-lateral institutions. We will evaluate the impact of NGOs on institution-building, NGO management processes including accountability and transparency, and NGO-government-donor relationships and develop a comparative understanding of the NGO sector in each of the major regions of the world.

This course is for graduate students in international education, public policy, anthropology, sociology, political science or a related social science field. Some familiarity with the NGO sector is expected and work experience in an NGO is desirable though not required. This course is open to seniors from the Five Colleges interested in working in the NGO sector.

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Educ 793W Master's Seminar
(Evans ) – Monday 9-12 noon – 287 Hills South

This seminar is intended to provide final-semester Master’s students with guidance in conceptualizing 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 their prospectus. 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 writing progresses. 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 Tuesday Center meeting near the end of the semester.

This course is for Master's candidates in International Education in their final semester. They will be automatically enrolled - you cannot enroll online.

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Educ 870 Introducation to Research Methods in International Contexts
(Nordtveit)      Wednesday 1-4 pm – 275 Hills South

This is an introductory course required for new Masters students in International Education, and open for other students at Masters and Doctoral levels desiring an effective introduction to research methodology. The course has a three-pronged goal. Firstly, it seeks to guide the students in making a mindful choice of a theoretical paradigm of research, and in understanding its underlying epistemology (system of knowing). Secondly, it provides an overview of quantitative, mixed and qualitative methods, with the aim of making the students “literate” in methodology, i.e., capable of reading and understanding research reports and documents that are using various methodological approaches. Finally, it seeks to assist the students through the steps of research preparation, from problem sensing and literature review, through the creation of a research design and submission of the necessary documents for human subjects review. In this, the course first and foremost takes a practical stance: it is designed to help prepare Master's for their Master's project and new Doctoral students for research to be used in their comprehensives or their dissertation.