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The Center for International Education

International Education Courses

Updated December 15, 2014


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Bjorn Nordtveit
Jacqi Mosselson



Joe Berger

Gretchen Rossman


Spring 2015 – International Education
Course Offerings








Master's Seminar
Evans - 287HS

Tuesday Dialogue

no classes

Issues in Literacy Program Development
Smith - 275HS

Center Committee Meetings – no classes


Research Methods in International Education
Mosselson - 275HS

Social Theories
Mosselson - 275HS


Project Management & Implementation
Smith - 275HS





229   4:00-6:30pm
Introduction to International Education
Notdtveit - Marks Meadow



International Higher Education Policy
Berger -



Spring 2015 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
(Nordtveit) – Thursday 4:00 - 6:30pm - Marks Meadow  

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 615O/793E Project Management & Implementation
Smith) – Thursday 1-4pm 275 Hills South

The purpose of this course is to help participants prepare to manage international development education projects.  The course will cover both theory and practice of managing projects, and participants and instructor will have a chance to talk about their past experiences in project management. By the end of the course, participants will be able to:

  1. articulate their philosophy of and approach to management, leadership and implementation of education projects
  2. explain which management tools they would utilize in managing project implementation, why they would use these tools, and how they would adapt them based on culture, gender and other relevant factors.

Some of the specific topics to be covered will include:

  • The difference between management and leadership
  • Balancing scope, resource and time for the optimal project quality
  • Managing staff and building teams
  • Cultural and gender differences in management
  • Overseeing budgets and work plans
  • Dealing with consultants, stakeholder and advisory groups, and funders
  • Tools for facilitating meetings, participatory decision making
  • Disseminating information, outcomes and products of the project
  • Dealing with corruption in project management
  • Technological tools for managing projects

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Educ 626 - Social Theories
Mosselson) -- Tuesday 1-4pm        275 Hills South   

In this course we will review some of the most influential social theories that have influenced educational thought in the twentieth century.  We will examine the central ideas of each selected social theory, the socio-political context within which the theory originated, and assess its contribution to education.  We will familiarize ourselves with the primary works of intellectuals who have elaborated upon the social theory, and situate their work in relation to the important paradigms of social thought.  Some of the key intellectuals whose work we will read are Weber, Bourdieu, Gandhi, Fanon, Gramsci and Foucault.  Each of these social theorists can be seen to fall under one of the four main paradigms of social thought: structuralism, critical theory, post-colonial or post-structural thought.  We will also read the works of education scholars that draw upon one or more of these social theorists.  This will allow us to examine the ways in which different social theories address certain enduring issues and dilemmas in education.

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Educ 635 Issues in Literacy Program Development
(Smith) Wednesday 9-Noon - 275 Hills South    

This course will address two major questions related to the provision of basic literacy education. One, why is literacy important for individuals and communities, and what role does it play in development? Two, what makes a literacy program successful? The course will cover the following issues:

  • A brief history of adult literacy in development, including the use of literacy campaigns, international initiatives, and national programs, and an overview of key players in the field of adult literacy (Laubach, Freire, etc.)
  • An overview of the research and theory on the rationale for literacy, including the connection between literacy and health, development and critical thinking.
  • A discussion of the elements of successful literacy programs, including teacher training, curriculum and materials, timing and duration, language of instruction, supervision and monitoring, and evaluation.
  • An analysis of several models (REFLECT, World Education) and examples of both basic and integrated literacy programs in specific countries, and a discussion of their underlying philosophy and beliefs about the purpose of literacy.
  • A comparison of adult literacy systems in developing countries and in the U.S., with a focus on the differences in adult learner populations and the implications of these for the design of systems, and a discussion of the types of systems participants feel are most appropriate for their own countries or contexts.

Throughout the course, participants will be asked to consider how these issues are relevant in their own contexts. At the beginning of the course, class participants will be asked to write their current theory of why literacy is important and what elements they believe critical to successful literacy programs. The final project assignment will be a description of what the literacy system should look like in a participants’ own context--along with supporting theory and rationale.

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674A International Higher Education Policy
(Berger) -- Wednesday 7-9:30pm   Location TBA

International Higher Education Policy is a seminar designed to explore the dynamic and complex field of higher education policy from an international perspective. The course focuses on contemporary trends, issues, dynamics, and problems in higher education throughout the world, and the policies that attempt to address them. More specifically, this course examines key policy issues such as quality, access, relevance and financing in a wide variety of national and international contexts. In addition, this course includes a consideration of the critique of these polices and their implications.

At the end of this course, students should have an understanding of
  • Current trends in higher education policy worldwide, including salient critiques of such trends
  • The operations, policies, and salient issues from a variety of systems of higher education
  • Policy innovations, implementation, and implications, with an emphasis on how the local and global contexts affect success or failure
  • How various approaches to policy influence key issues such as quality, access, relevance, and finance in a variety of international contexts.

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721 Research Methods in International Education
Mosselson) -- Monday 1-4:00 pm        275 Hills South  

This course provides a comprehensive introduction to a variety of research methods for international education. It is open to both Masters and Doctoral students

In the course we will review elements of how to set up a thorough research or project design, moving from identifying the topic, developing a problem statement and research questions to how to analyse the data collected. We will review various research approaches (eg qualitative, mixed methods, etc as well as phenomenological, case study, grounded research, etc) and research tools (e.g. interview options, observations, survey design, etc), thinking closely about how to make decisions about what to use and why, including how to map methodology to both your problem statement and literature review. We will go through ethical standards (you will all complete the IRB training!) and finally what to do with the data after you've collected it (i.e. your data analysis plan).

By the end of the semester, you will have written a full length research or project proposal, and completed the IRB process if appropriate for your topic. You should leave the class ready to conduct a research project or implement a project whether for your capstone project, your comprehensives and/or your dissertation.

Masters students who are planning data gathering or project activities in the summer should consider this course in order complete your Master's prospectus before your summer activities.

Please also note, it is also worth learning how to set up a research project from start to finish whether or not you will you plan to implement the proposal. .

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Educ 793W Masters Seminar in International Education
(Evans) – Monday 9-12 noon – 287 Hills South    

This seminar is intended to provide Master’s students in their final semester with guidance and support in 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 Master's capstone project.

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 timeline and an outline for their written 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.

All 4th semester Master's candidates are required to take this course.

You will be automatically enrolled - you cannot enroll online.

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Educ 804 Cultural Perspectives on Educational Management
(Evans) -- CANCELLED

Educational management takes place within cultures around the world and increasingly across cultural groups. The course begins by studying a theoretical perspective that provides key concepts for cultural analysis. Using these concepts, the course then examines elements of culture and how these interact with and shape management practice in educational settings. While the field of business management addresses issues of cross-cultural management, little has been done in the field of educational management. Close examination of the interaction of culture and educational management is important because deeply-held cultural beliefs and values shape both behavior and expectations about the functions and roles of educational managers

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