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.
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.
AAUW 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
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.
Thirteen CIE students earned degrees in the past year: four 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 Sierra Leone.
Gopal Midha (India) Theatre of the Oppressed: A Manual for Educators
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
Nigel Brissett (Jamaica ) A Critical Analysis of Jamaica's Emerging Educational Policy Discourse in the Age of Globalization
Aiah Mbayo (Sierra Leone) Beyond School Inputs: An Assessment of the Effects of Program intervention on Learning Achievement - A Case Study
Ola Khalili (Palestine) The Teacher Professional Development Program in Palestine: Changing Beliefs and Practices
Ayman Khalifah (Palestine) Educational Research in Palestine: Epistemological and Cultural Challenges - A Case Study
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]
The Dual Economy in Afghanistan
Reported by Verity Norman
At 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.
Education in Post-Emergency Contexts:
IRC's Healing Classroom Approach
Reported by Rebecca Paulson
Anita 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]
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."
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.
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.
CROSS - CULTURAL LEARNING: 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
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.
of Digital Government
Reported by Laura Gluck
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 leaving 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
Professor 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
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 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
On 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
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
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
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
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
the picture for a large version
committee Rebecca Paulson, Karla
Sarr, Cristine Smith, Philip Mangis, Sarah Kahando, Alicia
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
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