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CIE Activities - Fall 2009 - Spring 2010 - Summer 2010

CIE Activities On Campus - Summer 2010

CIE Staff - Past & Present do Lunch!

CIE staff members from several decades gathered in early August for lunch in the Newman Center to catch up and share stories of work and family. Kathy Richardson is now retired. She worked with the employee assistance program at UMass after leaving CIE. BGW is of course still working having spent 25 years at CIE so far! Anna Donovan is also retired, working part time at Applewood, a senior community in Amherst. Debbie Puchalski moved to the School of Management after leaving CIE where she is still working....but thinking more and more about retirement.

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Martha Nyongani wins AAUW International Fellowship

American Association of University Women (AAUW)  International Fellowships have been given to more than 3,000 women from 135 nations. Recipients are selected for academic achievement and demonstrated commitment to women and girls. They return to their home countries to become leaders in their fields in government, academia, community activism, the arts, and science.

Martha NyonganiAAUW has awarded a 2010–11 International Fellowship to Martha Nyongani from Malawi who is currently a doctoral candidate in International Education at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.

Upon hearing about the award Martha said: The AAUW International Fellowship has given me the strength to continue believing that I can make a difference in my own life, that of my family and my community. I intend to use the award to help me concentrate on mitigating negative externalities that affect access and equity of education in low-resource countries. My research focuses on exploring social marketing as an alternative strategy for planning school food programs in Malawi.

Martha will be returning to Malawi to carry out field work for her doctoral dissertation

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CIE celebrates 60th Birthday of Barbara Gravin Wilbur

In late June, a group of faculty, staff and students organized a surprise birthday party for BGW to honor her 60th birthday and to recognize the 25 years of service that she has provided to CIE. Those present told stories of ways in which BGW had solved a problem, provided support, or just been a friend in need. Almost anyone who has been at CIE has such a story as testimony to the infectious optimism that BGW brings to the office every day.


CIE Activities On Campus - Spring 2010

CIE Graduates F09-S10
Cristine Smith teaches at BRAC
The Dual Economy in Afghanistan
IRC & the Healing Classroom
CIE at Boston University African Studies Conference
Spring Cleaning at CIE after 20 years!
Improving Reading Skills under MDG & EFA
Global Horizons Workshop on South Africa

Degrees earned in 2009-2010 Academic Year

Twelve CIE students earned degrees in the past year: three Doctorates and nine Master's degrees (seven in Fall 09 and two in Spring 10). Their Dissertations and Master's projects reflect both the diversity of their experience and their wide ranging interests in the field of International Education. The topics focus on educational issues in six differenct countries ranging from Afghanistan to Palestine to Jamaica.

Masters Degrees

Gopal Midha
Gopal Midha (India)
Theatre of the Oppressed: A Manual for Educators
Karla Sarr
Karla Sarr (USA)
"We lost our culture with civilization" - A critical analysis of the internalization of the development discourse vis á vis systems of knowledge in Senegal

Doctoral Degrees

Nigel Brissett (Jamaica )
A Critical Analysis of Jamaica's Emerging Educational Policy Discourse in the Age of Globalization
Nigel Brissett

Ola Khalili (Palestine)
The Teacher Professional Development Program in Palestine: Changing Beliefs and Practices

Ola Khalili

Ayman Khalifah (Palestine)
Educational Research in Palestine: Epistemological and Cultural Challenges - A Case Study

Ayman Khalifah

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CIE Professor Teachs at BRAC's
Institute for Education and Development

In April, Professor Cristine Smith was invited to teach a course in adult learning theories at the BRAC Institute of Education and Development.   The course was part of a new Master’s degree in Education for government officials that is directed by CIE graduate Monica Gomes. There goals is to influence the public education system by educating district and local education officials about experiential learning, participatory methods, and activity-based classrooms.  This is the first year of this program for which the government agreed to give 16 district education officers paid leave to enroll in the one year program.

Monica structured the program as a series of three-week modules (two-week intensive full day courses, followed by a week for the students to write papers, etc) after which they are required to do a master's thesis.  Monica decided to invite international faculty to come to Bangladesh for some of these two week courses and work with the co-faculty (five smart young IED faculty members) to design and deliver the course.  That's how I got involved:  Monica, knowing that I teach the adult learning theory class here at CIE, asked me to come and do the 2-week course on children and adult learning theories.  Earlier, Mainus Sultan came to IED to teach a two-week course on research methodology.  She now wants to set up an ongoing relationship with CIE so this can become a more regular collaboration. [Pictures by Jon Crispin]

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The Dual Economy in Afghanistan
Reported by Verity Norman

Dr. Mihala SafriAt a Tuesday meeting Dr. Maliha Safri of Drew University gave a stimulating presentation at CIE on her paper titled The Development of a Dual Political Economy in Afghanistan.  Her paper describes the two distinct yet interconnected forms of political economy in Afghanistan.  One political economy revolves around the state, and more specifically, the dual state that has emerged which consists of an internal state run by the government of Afghanistan and an external state which is made up of the actions of what she termed the “foreign aid conglomerate.”  These two are in a hierarchical relationship, with the external one having immensely more power and resources than the internal one.  The challenge is how to encourage the external state to shift resources and control gradually to the internal state managed directly by the government.

The other political economy, structured by a decentralized concentration of power, is organized by warlords or military commanders.  Maliha described a hierarchy of warlords, ranging from small local commanders who control a few dozen militiamen, to local warlords who control larger groups but invest their power in tribal leadership, to regional warlords who control much larger areas and are major players in the drug trade.

Dr. Safri highlighted not only the distinctions between these two forms, but also examined their symbiotic relationship in more detail, articulating the ways in which the different kinds of economy depend on each other.  The real challenge is how to shift from this situation to one where these three economies merge in a constructive manner.

Following her presentation, Dr. Safri led a lively discussion during which CIE students, faculty, and visitors wrestled with the role of international NGOs, the role of warlords, and the sustainability of the Afghan economy.  She told us this was the "best feedback" she has ever received after giving this presentation!  Considering CIE's longstanding involvement in the Afghanistan Higher Education Project, we hope to continue this type of discussion around issues regarding the future of Afghanistan.

Dr. Safri is a graduate of the Department of Economics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, who sponsored her visit to Amherst.  Her work also includes popular education seminars and courses for activists with the Center for Popular Economics, also based at UMass, Amherst.

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Education in Post-Emergency Contexts:
IRC's Healing Classroom Approach

Reported by Rebecca Paulson

Anita AnastacioAnita Anastacio (M.Ed. 2006) returned to talk at a recent Center meeting about her work with the International Rescue Committee (IRC). After graduating from CIE, Anita worked as Chief of Party with CARE in Afghanistan for several years before taking up her current post as senior technical advisor for education at IRC.  Anita started out with a brief history of IRC’s and how it became involved in education. Founded in 1940s to address the issue of World War II refugees in Europe, IRC moved to become a leading agency in conflict related emergency responses around the world.  For example, IRC has been providing education to Liberian and Sierra Leonean refugees in Guinea; Vietnamese, Cambodian and Burmese refugees in Thailand; Sudanese and Congolese refugees in Uganda; Somali and Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia, and Afghan refugees in Pakistan. 

Anita explained that IRC's focus has always been on serving refugee populations and supporting their return to their home country when the time was right, post-crisis and post-conflict.   According to Anita, IRC through its active involvement with the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) promotes the importance of education in emergency contexts and advocates for inclusion of education as part of any emergency response in order to bring about a sense of normalcy and stability for the children.   IRC has been engaged in policy discussions about how to judge when to exit from a specific setting.  Are they leaving too early before sustainable educational institutions are in place?  Should they build stronger linkages with the Ministries from the beginning to facilitate transition?

Anita currently works for the Child Youth Protection and Development (CYPD) sector within the IRC. Their focus is on education, youth and livelihoods, and child protection.  Their current focus in the education sector has been on improving access to education, on improving learning outcomes for children and young people, on improving the skills and knowledge of teachers and on ensuring safe learning environments.  All of IRC education programs involve community participation in the education of their children. Another important element is working with authorities responsible for education.  Through IRC’s work in conflict zones, the experience in working with children, young people, parents and teachers has led to the development of what IRC calls the Healing Classroom.   Anita also spoke of IRC's desire to build linkages with academic institutions to further their research and evaluation capacity. Students and faculty discussed various ways which CIE could possibly collaborate with IRC in the future. [April 2010]

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CIE Members Present at African Studies Conference

Three CIE students presented papers at Boston University's 18th Annual Graduate Research Conference in African Studies, on 19 and 20 March, 2010.  Nancy Gachigo and Sarah Kahando presented their paper The Relationship between Girls' Education and cultural practices in delaying marriage: Practical implications in Kenya and South Sudan and Verity Norman presented her paper Outcomes-based Education: Widening the gap between South Africa's "haves" and "have nots"? as part of the panel on "Pedagogy and Educational Equality."  The conference was completely student-run and was very well organized and attended, with participants coming from Universities in Ohio, Wisconsin, Illinois, Boston, Texas, Harvard, Columbia and others.  Presentations covered a range of topics relating to Africa, within the education field and beyond, and fell into the conference's broad focus "Africa: Engaging the Past, Envisioning the Future."

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Spring Cleaning at CIE

On a late February morning, an intrepid group of CIE members converged on the Center intent on really cleaning up CIE. They tackled the L-Shaped Room, the Kinsey Room and the office with great enthusiasm. The dust rose, things fell, and ancient deposits were unearthed.

Twenty years of accumulation in the L-Shaped Room gradually gave way to a brighter, cleaner room with lots of new artifacts on the walls and a much more inviting atmosphere. Part of the crew tackled the tired collection of plants - pruning, cleaning, repotting and producing a rejuvenated set of greenery for various rooms at CIE. Various stages of the work in progress and the team are depicted below.


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Basic Reading Instruction and
Rapid Assessment of Reading Skills  

Reported by Laura Gluck

CIE alum John Comings (Ed. D. ‘79) spoke at a February Tuesday meeting on the challenge of quickly improving reading performance for primary school students in Africa and elsewhere.  Comings,  who recently joined the CIE faculty as an associated faculty member, has spent his career working on literacy – both domestic and international, as well as teacher training and non-formal education.

In his position as a consultant at the EDC, he is now focusing his attention on improving quality in primary education worldwide, a goal that has risen to increased importance in the context of the Millennium Development Goals and the realization that access needs to be accompanied by successful learning. Achieving systemic changes in curriculum, teacher skills and learning materials is a long-term task.  John asked what can be done in the short-term for the children who can’t wait for systemic changes.  He argued that there are several simple changes in teaching behavior and testing reading skills that can be implemented quickly and will show significant gains while waiting for longer term systemic changes.

Comings presented his ideas for creating a Rapid Assessment of Reading Skill (RARS)Test which can be quickly constructed, administered in a few minutes to individual learners, and scored immediately to provide quick diagnostic feedback on the reading level of new learners.   He argued that the combination of RARS with some simple changes in teacher behavior which could be conveyed in one- or two-day workshops, could improve the learning of reading.  For more information contact John Comings

In the discussion that followed CIE members raised a series of issues around language, test construction, efficacy of the short-term interventions with teachers, and the need for more extensive support in the classrooms.  The meeting ended with a discussion around how, if at all, these ideas could be applied to the new project with Twaweza in East Africa that CIE is embarking on.

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Bringing South Africa into the American classroom

Global Horizons co-sponsored a workshop with the Five College Public School Partnership at CIE in February.. The workshop was the outgrowth of a five-week study tour to South Africa in the summer of 2007 by teachers from five western Massachusetts school districts and faculty members. The workshop was organized by Sue Thrasher of the Five Colleges with Abraham Sineta and Professor Jacqi Mosselson of CIE.

The participants have now had two years experience of teaching about South Africa in their classrooms. They discussed how to use South African area studies to teach about democracy, literature, education, cross cultural studies, geography, and social studies. Lesson plans, curriculum guides, and other classroom resources were shared.  Presenters covered the following topics: [Feb 2010]

  • Cultural and Educational Exchanges for Professional Development
  • Using South African Literature to help students understand text
  • Creating a Virtual Field Trip of South Africa
  • Integrating South Africa area studies into standards-based curriculum
  • ITesting Hope: Student to Student Connections

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CIE Activities On Campus - Fall 2009

Intergroup Dialogue Methods
The Future of Digital Government
Farmer Water Schools in India
CIE Fall Reception
Women's Literacy in Morocco
CIE Fall Retreat at Angel's Rest

Intergroup Dialogue Methods
Reported by Philip Mangis

On November 10, 2009, Dr. Ximena Zuniga and graduate students Keri DeJong and Dre Domingue from the UMass Social Justice Education (SJE) program joined us for our Tuesday meeting to discuss intergroup dialogue,

Dr. Zuniga, Keri, and Dre explained the methodologies that they have been using for intergroup dialogue in helping groups speak across social identity differences.  The presented some of their recent research findings from a national study that looked at engagement processes and learning outcomes of students who participate in race and gender intergroup dialogues.  Their research suggests that intergroup dialogue as a methodology can foster critical and reflective conversations about difference and commonalities.

Center members participated in a few mindfulness and dialogic activities and learned about the difference between dialogue, discussion, debate, and intergroup dialogue.

The efforts of Dr. Zuniga, Dre, Keri, and several other SJE graduate students to spread awareness about the need and efficacy of Intergroup Dialogue in higher education have been instrumental in the establishment of the Intergroup Dialogue Initiative between the Five Colleges.

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The Future of Digital Government
Reported by Laura Gluck

Professor Jane Fountain spoke at the October 6th CIE Tuesday meeting on the future of digital government. The Director of the National Center for Digital Government, Fountain joined the UMass community in 2005 after Jane Fountainleaving Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. She is a member of the Global Advisory Council on the Future of Governments for the World Economic Forum. She is also a consultant for many diverse governments and organizations including the World Bank and the European Union.

After giving a brief overview of the literature in the field, including her own book, Building the Virtual State, Fountain explained that the term "digital government" is the use of information and communication technologies in government.  Technology has evolved at such a rapid pace that it has been difficult to stand back and evaluate its impact on the private and public sectors.  Some laud the progress of digital government as the answer to tyranny and political corruption, assuming that the vast amount of information available on the web will inevitably lead to democratization and government transparency.  However, Fountain cautioned that this view of what is being called Government 2.0 is both damaging and dangerous.  In fact, evidence suggests that when new technology is put into the hands of an authoritarian or semi-authoritarian regime, the result is actually more state control and centralized power.

Jane FountainProfessor Fountain argied that we cannot blindly promote and idealize the positive potential of digital government without understanding the possible negative consequences.  Whereas one nation may use the internet to post new legislation and host live town hall meetings, another may be more interested in tracking the websites visited by each of its citizens.  Electronic voter ballots may ensure more accurate tallies, but also provides the opportunity to document a person's identification information and voting record. Widespread surveillance may contribute to better state security- but who is monitoring and using that information? 

Her presentation provoked a lively discussion of many related questions, particularly around how digital capacity would be used in developing countries with limited access to the web.

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CIE Fall Reception

The annual fall reception was held on a rainy Friday afternoon which failed to dampen the spirits of those attending. An enthusiastic group turned out to help CIE begin its 42nd year of operation, including a number of graduates from years past who live in the area.

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Women's Literacy in Morroco

Reddad ErguigOn September 29, 2009, our Tuesday meeting speaker was Reddad Erguig, a visiting Fulbright scholar from Morocco.  Dr. Erguig's research and area of interest is women's literacy practices.  He shared with us an ethnographic study he had conducted, in collaboration with "Imane", a woman who had participated in an adult literacy class.  This research documented the ways she continued to practice literacy after completing the class, particularly in the family and religious domains.  

Professor Erguig and the CIE members had a spirited discussion about everything from research methodology to the role of ethnographic research in policy making to the changing literacy environments in urban and rural areas. We thank him for his time, for sharing his findings with us, and for being open to an extended discussion of literacy research.

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Farmer Water Schools in India

Konda Reddy Chavva, a CIE doctoral student, spent this past summer in Southern India working with World Education project staff and farmers to design participatory methodology for collection of baseline data on climatic variability.  World Education assists the Andhra Pradesh Farmer Managed Groundwater Systems Project in the design and implementation of Farmer Water Schools. Konda has served as the project coordinator for the past four years.

Changes in rainfall patterns can have a detrimental effect on small and marginal farmers, who constitute close to 80% of Indian farmers.  Involving farmers in baseline data collection, validation and analysis will build critical thinking and research skills within their communities.  Engaging farmers in designing implementation strategies and ensuing project activities will increase their ownership of the process and enhance participation.  In a Farmer Water School  a group of men and women farmers belonging to one Hydrological Unit come together to observe and analyze groundwater availability and crop-water requirements, discuss the situation with co-farmers, and make individual decisions that affect the collective groundwater resource. 

For his dissertation, Konda plans to focus on the role of nonformal education in promoting greater farmer awareness of crop-water management issues and collective data gathering and analysis by farmers.

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CIE Annual Fall Retreat

After holding CIE's annual fall retreat in Camp Bement for over 25 years, the camp closed and we had to search for a new location for the retreat. We were fortunate in finding a very nice new location at Angel's Rest - a retreat center northeast of Greenfield in the beautiful hills of western Massachusetts. The setting, food, and accomodations were all of a standard that one would love to become accustomed to!

F09 CIE Retreat
Click on the picture for a large version


Retreat planning committee
Rebecca Paulson, Karla Sarr, Cristine Smith,
Philip Mangis, Sarah Kahando, Alicia Fitzpatrick

Honoring the Past - Reaching for the Future

Ex Com chose this theme based on students' desires to discuss what's great about CIE and thus worth keeping, but also what needs to be done to move CIE into the 21st century.  Example?  The resource center in the L-shaped room could use a LITTLE updating, perhaps.  So, at the retreat, we first brainstormed a list of CIE traditions...Tuesday meetings, tag sale, retreat, receptions and picnics, peer advisors, etc.  We then discussed what we should "keep" and what might be changed or "tweaked".  While we didn't decide anything, it did give us a good feeling about the value of Center for International Education activities and also some ideas about updating them.  Next, we envisioned Center for International Education in 2019; lots of fantasies about new and expanded space (Hills South is getting pretty old) and technology that we need.  

Then, we used a discussion technique called "Open Space Technology" for a lengthy exploration into how we can move towards our vision.  We have plenty of work cut out for us; ideas include a major push for 21st century technology (well, even a built-in projector in the classroom would be nice!), e-resources, publications, and plenty of ways to keep our spirit alive.  Stay tuned!

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