On July 19-29, 2012, 13 global citizen leaders from countries in Africa, Asia, and North and South America gathered together in Amherst, Massachusetts for Phase 1 of the Global Citizen Leadership Program. These leaders represent organizations seeking to promote greater adherence to global values in their countries. As participants in the leadership training program, they will build their skills to increase citizen engagement in activities that promote global values in their countries.
The Global Citizen Leadership Program is a unique effort intended to support the practice of global citizenship and support the cultivation of a sustainable world community based on common values. The Program seeks to demonstrate that people in different countries, working together, within and across countries, can make an important contribution to solving global problems that affect the quality of life on our planet. It is therefore not a traditional international development program involving the transfer of resources from wealthy nations to poor nations, but rather a unique global development effort in which citizens from around the world work together to address the common issues that face the planet as a whole.
The training program was sponsored by The Global Citizens’ Initiative (TGCI) and the Center for International Education (CIE) in collaboration with faculty from the 5 colleges of Western Massachusetts (Hampshire College, Mt Holyoke College, Amherst College, Smith College and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst).
The program has 3 phases over a 12-month period: Phase 1 involved a 10-day skills building workshop for all participants that took place in Amherst, Massachusetts in July, 2012. Phase 2 is a one-year effort that involves the implementation of global citizenship and human rights projects that were designed by each participant during Phase 1. Phase 3 will involve an international advocacy effort in which participants will present to international human rights organizations and other concerned stakeholder institutions about their projects related to citizen participation and human rights.
As part of the Phase 1 workshop, participants wrote the “Amherst Declaration of Global Citizenship”. Please support this effort by signing this petition.
The program was coordinated and led by Ron Israel Executive Director, The Global Citizens’ Initiative and Ash Hartwell, a CIE faculty member. The program was staffed by CIE members Jacob Carter, Milka Ndura, and Valerie Kurka. Yang Gyeltshen, a current doctoral student from Bhutan, is a participant.
Click on the picture for large version to download
During this year CIE students completed seven Doctoral degrees and nine Master's degrees. Their research was done on a wide variety of education topics in a range of international settings including Bolivia, Guatemala, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, USA, and Zanzibar.
Lauren Clarke (USA) The Decolonization of Higher Education: An Analysis of The 2009 Venezuelan "Ley Orgánica De Educación"
Nigar Khan (Pakistan) The Role of Education in an Historically Challenging and Politically Complex Environment: The Response of Public Universities to the September, 11 Attacks
Karen Lennon (USA) Place and the Politics of Knowledge in Rural Bolivia: A Post-coloniality of Development, Ecology and Well-Being
Martha Magreta (Malawi) Mitigating Negative Externalities Affecting Access and Equity of Education in Low-Resource Countries: A Study Exploring Social Marketing as a Potential Strategy for Planning School Food Programs in Malawi
Judith Obiero (Kenya) Can free primary education achieve universal primary education? - A study of the intersections of social exclusion, gender and education in Kenya
Rebecca Paulson Stone (USA) A Professional development program for the mother tongue-based teacher: Addressing teacher knowledge and attitudes about MTBMLE
Abraham Sineta (Malawi) Demand-side financing in education: A critical examination of a girls’ scholarship program in Malawi
Jacob Carter (USA) Beyond PRONADE: NGOs and the Formal Education Sector in Guatemala
Thomas Coon (USA) Description of a species for international education: Zoos, a literature review
Judith Johannes (Germany) Contemplative Education – How contemplative practices can support and improve education
Mshauri Khamis (Zanzibar) Assessing stakeholders perceptions on private tuition in Zanzibar
Colleen King (USA) Experiencing *Shadow* Education: The Rural Gambian Context
Tatiana Krayushkina (Tajikistan) A Child with Two Motherlands: Child Sojourners and Cultural Identity.
Valerie Kurka (USA) Recognizing Culture in Experiential Education: An Analysis and Framework for Practitioners
Assela Luena (Tanzania) Strengthening the Education Management Information System (EMIS) in Tanzania:
Government Actors’ Perceptions about Enhancing Local Capacity for Information-based Policy Reforms
Nancy Wanjiku Gachigo (Kenya) The impact of culture on girls’ education: Relooking at culture as an avenue to increasing girls’ access and retention in schools in Sub-Saharan Africa with specific reference to South Sudan.
A few of the many pictures from the pre-graduation activities and Graduation Day
CIE was well represented at the CIES meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico in April, 2012. Seventeen CIE members were on the program – a record number for us! Four CIE members organized and chaired panels in addition to individual presentations
Joe Berger - Higher education retention, employment, and its role in society
DRE – The challenge of developing graduate education in Afghanistan
Valerie Kurka - Supporting refugee populations through education Bjorn Nordveidt - Public and private providers: The question of cooperation in education
Individual presentations by current CIE students included:
Rebecca Paulson - L1-based multilingual education in the Philippines: Policy and practice
Tom Coon – How can we help each other?: A literature review of education in zoos for comparative and international education
Paul Frisoli - DRC: Developing a teacher training curriculum with the ministry of education: Processes, opportunities and challenges
Hassan Aslami - The impact of a Master’s of Education program in Afghanistan
Mehribon Abdullaeva - Madrasa aliya: Encompassing religion and modernity in higher education.
Jacob Carter - Beyond PRONADE: NGOs and the public education sector in Guatemala
Faculty members Gretchen Rossman and Sharon Rallis used a dramatic role play to present their paper on What we’ve learned about ethics: It’s the little things that count. The role play was based on the experience of Habibullah Wajdi in Afghanistan which was discussed in their research methods class.
In addition other current students and graduates from CIE were at the conference. Graduates on the program or present included: Anita Anastacio, Jane Benbow, Flavia Ramos, Judith Johannes, Beverly Lindsay, Mark Lynd, and Verity Norman.
CIE also hosted a well-attended informal reception in the Oasis bar of the convention hotel.
We look forward to a strong presence at CIES next year!
Cultural Variations in Child Treatment: Abuse or Discipline?
At a Tuesday Dialogue in CIE, Lisa Fontes facilitated an engaging discussion about the prevention of child maltreatment across cultures. Tuesday’s dialogue focused on how culture shapes definitions of ‘’physical and sexual abuse’, eliciting probing questions and evocative examples from Center members who shared experiences from the several countries represented at the meeting. The dialogue probed the line between discipline and physical abuse in a variety of countries, and the problems families who immigrate to the U.S. sometimes face when they use corporal punishment with their children. Center members also described situations of sexual exploitation of students in schools, including the concept of “sexually transmitted grades.”
Lisa has consulted over the years with EPES – Educación Popular en Salud, located in Chile and founded by CIE graduate Karen Anderson. She also developed a program to prevent child abuse and neglect in government shelters for undocumented, unaccompanied minors with BRYCS. The full curriculum is available on the BRYCS website in English and Spanish.
Lisa is a graduate of the School of Education, receiving her PhD in Counseling Psychology in 1992. Fluent in both Spanish and Portuguese, Lisa has conducted research and facilitated workshops in the U.S. and Europe and throughout Latin America.
The following links related to the discussion may be of interest:
APSAC (American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children) BRYCS (Bridging Refugee Youth and Children’s Services) EPES (Educación Popular en Salud) ISPCAN (International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect)
Visit her website for copies of some of Lisa’s articles
Sewing Memories – Conflict, Resistance and Survival reported by Patrick Thoendal
Roberta Bracic made a presentation and led an active discussion at a Tuesday meeting at CIE on the use of hand-woven textiles as a medium of expression and protest by women around the world. She was at UMass as the curator of an exhibition on campus entitled Transforming threads of resistance: Political arpilleras & textiles by women from Chile and around the world.
She demonstrated with several examples made by Chilean women who had suffered under the military dictatorship. Using the example shown here (click on the picture to see a larger version), she explained the various ways the symbolism, the materials used and the visual content of an arpillera (A sewn picture, usually on a piece of sack cloth, using old pieces of cloth) help to tell the stories of the women. The women use only found cloth and objects to make the textiles, often using such things as the clothing of a disappeared relative. Her talk centered on how these homemade objects gave voice to a population that has often gone unheard. The textiles documented acts of brutality perpetuated by the Pinochet dictatorship and in some cases were used as part of testimony before Truth Commissions. Working side-by-side with other women, the sewing process allowed them to tell their stories without looking at the other women.The textiles became a public telling of their stories: “The cloth allows you to cry.” She also outlined the evolution of the arpillera from being a form of protestto an expression of resilience after the fall of Pinochet.
She also presented examples of similar use of hand-woven textiles in other countries ranging from Ireland to Peru to Zimbabwe.
An important part of CIE's philosophy is to merge experience and perspectives from the realities of education in other countries with the theories and methods of the field. Students provide an ongoing source of field perspectives in classes and CIE activities. Faculty also remain current by regular work in field contexts. Field work by faculty this Fall has brought additional perspectives to the dialogue at CIE.
Ash Hartwell went to Zambia to work with the Ministry of Education and the National Exams Council. For the past several years Zambia has been implementing what was thought to be a model program to enhance early grade reading and math. However, a recent evaluation of the pupils’ abilities in reading and math was disappointing. Ash was asked to facilitate a workshop to reflect on those results and help Zambia use the outcome as a basis for constructive policy dialogue.
Joe Berger returned to Afghanistan for his third trip this year with the USAID-financed Higher Education Project (HEP) which is being managed by CIE. On this trip he worked on developing the curriculum for a new Master’s degree in Public Policy and Administration, assisted in the discussions to turn over the Master’s degree in Education that CIE started in collaboration with Kabul Education University, and briefed officials from both USAID and the Ministry of Higher Education on HEP activities. Joe returned to Afghanistan in December to finalize the curriculum for the Master’s in Public Policy and Administration
Cris Smith journeyed to Gaza with Kate Hudson to start the first phase of a faculty development process with three Palestinian Universities - Al-Azhar University, Islamic University, Al-Aqsa University - as part of a contract with CIE to improve the effectiveness of the faculties of Education in the three universities. Cris & Kate led a six-day workshop for 40 faculty members that focused on improving the quality of faculty instruction for students training to be teachers with an emphasis on participatory methods and active learning in large classes.
On his second trip to Afghanistan this year, DRE spent the last half of November in Kabul. His major focus was revising and re-submitting CIE’s proposal for a no-cost extension of the Higher Education Project until June of 2012 which will allow the project to continue critical work with the MoHE as well as continue training faculty members of the 18 institutions of higher education. The other focus of the trip was on planning for the eventual closeout of the project in the spring – a complex process for a large project which will have been in operation for over six years when it finishes.
Ash Hartwell led a discussion at a Tuesday dialogue about “The Dark Side” of Early Grade Reading Assessments (EGRA) for literacy measurement.
Many challenges exist with measuring literacy. Ash focused on the aspect of reading speed as a better measure of literacy in developing countries. A rate of 60 words per minute (or one word per second) is considered the minimum necessary to read with comprehension. This standard is based on the cognitive capacity of the brain. That is, on average, 60 words per minute is the speed at which a reader can store and process information in his or her working memory in order to make meaning out of the words. Participants at Tuesday dialogue examined this concept further by reading at a standard speed and then trying to read at 60 words per minute. Ash presneted data from The Gambia on EGRA. Most students in the study were well below the standard in reading speed as well as other measurements of literacy used in The Gambia. There were also large differences between government and private schools.
Because formal education builds on past experiences, having a solid foundation is important. Ash argued that resources and efforts should be directed towards early grade education in order to build a solid educational foundation. Ash noted that USAID has made EGRA a major priority for its programming efforts in 2012 and beyond.
At the end of September, thirty CIE members gathered at Angels Rest in West Leyden Massachusetts for the 44th annual CIE retreat. The theme of the retreat was "Learning about the CIE Community ." The activities focused on sharing skills and learning goals among current members, discovering more about current field projects at CIE, and understanding and living with the very diverse cultural composition of CIE. For the second year in a row, it was damp - it poured heavily for the first day- but inside our spirits were high! For the second time in decades we had to take the group picture inside!