CIE Logo

The Center for International Education

updated March 15, 2015


Who We Are

Academic Programs





Off Campus

On Campus


Photo Gallery















Return to CIE On Campus Activities & Biographies

CIE Activities - Fall 2012 - Spring 2013 - Summer 2013

CIE Activities - Summer 2013

CIE Folks attend USAID Education Summit in Washington, D.C.

USAID hosted a Global Education Summit in Washington, D.C in August.  The three-day event brought together more than 750 USAID education specialists and partners to focus on the achievement of USAID's Education Strategy with a day devoted to each of the USAID Education Goals: Early Grade Reading, Youth and Workforce Development, and Access to Education in Crisis and Conflict Environments. The Summit reviewed "state of the field" approaches and "state of the art" best practices in improving education in the developing world. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Director of the National Economic Council Gene Sperling provided Keynote Addresses, and USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah and Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin provided closing Remarks.

CIE was well represented at the USAID summit in August this year - with attendees who are employees of AID, consultants to AID, staff of Implementing Partners managing AID-funded projects, and current CIE students. Ash Hartwell made several presentations, one of which was put together by Stephen Richardson and Jacob Carter, current students at CIE.

Back Row: Dwaine Lee, Ash Hartwell, Jane Benow, Mark Lynd, Valerie Haugen
Front Row: Nina Papadopolous, Flavia Ramos
Not pictured: Anita Anastacio, John Hatch, Joanie Cohen Mitchell, John Comings,Stephen Richardson


top of page

CIE Activities On Campus - Spring 2013

Graduation Ceremony May 2013

Graduates and well-wishers gathered together the evening before graduation at the School Education reception in the Campus Center to celebrate the occasion.


Degrees earned in 2012-2013 Academic Year

During the past year CIE students completed three Doctoral degrees and nine Master's degrees. Their research focused on a wide variety of education topics in a range of international settings including Afghanistan, Georgia, Kyrgystan, Tanzania, and the US.

Click on picture for larger version

Doctoral Degrees

Andrea Ayvazian


Andrea S. Ayvazian (USA)
Goals, Principles and Practices for Community-Based Adult Education through the Lens of a Hatcher-Assagioli Synthesis

Jean Kosha

Jean Kosha (USA)
Miss, Miss, I’ve got a story!” Exploring identity through a micro-ethnographic analysis of lunchtime interactions with four Somali third grade students

Habibullah Wajdi

Habibullah Wajdi  (Afghanistan)
The Process of Organizational Capacity Development in Action in the Post-conflict Setting of the Literacy Department of Afghanistan

Master's Degrees

Hassan Aslami

Hassan Aslami (Afghanistan)
Factors in Teacher Attrition: Why Secondary School Teachers Leave the Teaching Profession in Afghanistan

Mjege Kinyota

Mjege Kinyota (Tanzania)
Students’ Perceptions of Factors Influencing their Choice of Science Streams in Tanzanian Secondary Schools

Gulzat Kochorova

Gulzat Kochorova (Kyrgystan)
The Problem with Problem Identification in the Process of the Educational Reforms in the Kyrgyz Republic

Donna Lopp

Donna Lopp (USA)
The Voices of First Generation:  An examination of a theatre-based youth leadership program for refugee, immigrant and American youth and it's relationship to members' self-confidence, self-identity, and self-efficacy

Milka Ndura

Milka Kagira Ndura (Tanzania)
Factors that motivate students to perform well in basic primary education: A case study of Kibera slum in Nairobi, Kenya

Noorullah Noori

Noorullah Noori (Afghanistan)
A Comparative Analysis of the Effectiveness of Teacher Support Approaches in Afghanistan

Benjamin Ngaji Oganga

Benjamin Oganga (Tanzania)
Feeding students? Examining views of parents, students and teachers of school feeding in Chamwino district of Tanzania

Anna Swai

Anna Every Swai (Tanzania)
The Effects of Incentives on Teacher Retention in Tanzania: A case of the Rukwa region

Patrick Thoendal

Patrick Thoendel (USA)
A social network analysis of a network of Georgian youth

top of page

The Comparative Education Review
Moves to the Center for International Education @ UMass

Cristine Smith
Bjorn Nordtveit
Jacqi Mosselson
Cristine Smith
Bjorn Nordtveit
Jacqi Mosselson

We are honored to announce that the editorship for the Comparative Education Review will be transferred to the Center for International Education in the School of Education as of July 1, 2013 for an initial five-year term.  The new editor will be Bjorn Nordtveit who will be assisted by Cris Smith, as one of the co-editors, and Jacqi Mosselson, as the book review editor.  The team at CIE will be working in cooperation with four co-editors from partner institutions: Kathryn Anderson-Levitt (UCLA), Stephen Carney (Roskilde University, Denmark), Peter Easton (Florida State University), and Elizabeth King (World Bank). Graduate students will be assisting in managing the Journal in various ways, including as Managing Editors.

All new coeditors will meet on May 3-5 at CIE/UMass for a transition workshop – in which the current editor and several students will work with the new team to ensure a smooth transition of the editorship to its new home at UMass.

The Comparative Education Review (CER) is the premier journal in the U.S. in the field of comparative and international education and is the official journal of the society of that name.  The CER is a peer-reviewed journal which is published quarterly. The journal was founded in 1956 and is now in its 57th year of publication.  CIE, which has just completed its 45th year, is proud to be able to contribute to the ongoing history of this well-respected journal.

The new editor, Bjorn Nordtveit, joined CIE in 2011 after five years at the University of Hong Kong, where he was involved in various publication series of the Center of Comparative Education (HKU-CERC). The other team members also have solid publication and editorship experiences.

The new team, in addition to continuing current practices of the journal, also would like to bring new attention to international scholarship. Whereas the rest of the world reads our journals, monolingual English speakers often lack understanding of what is being published globally (even when it is published in English). Although journals in the social sciences increasingly publish in English, there remains a huge literature published in other languages and never translated into English. The new editorial team will seek to include reviews of articles, themes, debates and books from non-English authors and academic sources.

top of page

Internationalizing UMass –
Chancellor Subbaswamy Engages in Dialogue with CIE

Chancellor SubbaswamyChancellor Kumble Subbaswamy began life in India and first came to the U.S. as a graduate student in physics. After becoming a physics faculty member he went onto a series of leadership positions in higher education culminating in his appointment as Chancellor of UMass Amherst in July 2012.

The Chancellor began his conversation with CIE by recounting his first experiences upon arriving in the US as a graduate student.  He then reflected on the highly decentralized nature of a large university like UMass which means that there are many international activities within colleges and departments, but little centralized information or overall policy in terms of the international role of the university.  Subbaswamy outlined the importance of a number of areas for international involvement:

  • Curriculum – helping to make students “world ready;”
  • International experience for undergraduates who have little opportunity to experience other cultures;
  • Recruiting international students who enrich and diversify the campus culture;
  • Facilitating research collaboration – a good deal of which exists already in the sciences, but much less so in the social sciences;
  • Providing opportunities for faculty to travel and work abroad to enrich their classroom teaching; and, finally,
  • Engaging in outreach and service. 

For the latter he held up CIE and its long history of project work in development education as a prime example international outreach. 

To move toward a more systematic approach, UMass will soon being developing a strategic plan for internationalizing the university, following a process advocated by the American Council on Education.

In the ensuing discussion the Chancellor was asked a number of questions related to the experience of international students at UMass.  Issues raised included, access to the library after graduation, waiving the graduate school application fee, helping students with written English, and ways of better involving the graduate students in the campus undergraduate life.  A lively discussion of several of these issues followed.

top of page

CIE @ CIES in New Orleans – March 2013
Reported by Stephen Richardson

CIE was strongly represented at the annual CIES Conference this year in New Orleans, La., in March, 2013. Twelve current students along with at least ten CIE graduates were on the program.  Altogether there were more about 30 CIE folks at the conference – a strong representation.

Sumera Assan - Classroom assessment culture in urban secondary schools in Bangladesh: ‘Assessment of learning’ or ‘assessment for learning’?
Kefah Barham - Computer integration in Palestinian secondary schools in Ramallah and Qalqilyah cities: A mixed method study
HyeSeung Cho - A comparative analysis of the Official Development Assistance (ODA) in South Korea and Japan focusing on basic education sector
Paul St. John Frisoli - Literacy design, implementation, and monitoring in the Ouré Cassoni refugee camp in Chad: IRC’s literacy approach and Teachers’ Experiences of Professional Development in Crisis and Post-Crisis Democratic Republic of Congo: A Case Study of “Teacher Learning Circles”
Sangeeta Kamat - The Kamma caste and the spirit of capitalism: The corporate college phenomena in Andhra Pradesh, India and The myth of India’s Right to Education Act: Urban school reform and the Mumbai story
Tamar Lomiashvili - The dilemma of accountability in decentralization: A case study of education reform in Georgia
Jaqueline Mosselson & Yaëlle Stempfelet - Migration and mothering: The impact of cross-cultural mothering on young children
Mahboob Morshed - Math anxiety and math achievement in rural junior-secondary students of Bangladesh
Bjørn Nordtveit - China in Africa: Comparative analysis of five country cases
Karla Sarr - Integrating Indigenous knowledges in formal schooling in Senegal
Anna Swai - The effective incentive initiatives: Issues of teacher retention in Tanzania; The case of Rukwa region

A number of on-campus CIE folks organized and chaired panels, including HyeSeung Cho, Tamar Lomiashvili, Sangeeta Kamat, and Salma Khan. In addition, the following CIE alumni were on the program: David Bell, Jane Benbow, Nigel Brisset, John Comings, Karen Lennon, Beverly Lindsay, Mark Lynd, Flavia Ramos-Mattoussi, Verity Norman, Rebecca Paulson Stone and Ray Young

In what is becoming an annual tradition, CIE hosted a reception for members, affiliated faculty, and friends of the program which was held at the Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant this year. Click here for a gallery of pictures courtesy of Bev Bell.

top of page

The Power of First Language Instruction
Reported by Katie Lazdowski

Carol BensonRecently, Carol Benson, PhD., engaged Center members in a dialogue about the use of home languages (L1) and home cultures (C1) in education practices. Dr. Benson is an independent consultant in educational language issues, who is currently on leave from Stockholm University.

As Dr. Benson presented her talk, Language Issues in Comparative Education, she engaged listeners, seeking their participation and embracing the true sense of the Tuesday Dialog. Dr. Benson began by polling the Center members. “Raise your hand if you learned to read in (one of) your home language(s)? How about in a second/foreign language? Did anyone learn to read bilingually or multilingually?” After tapping into our own experiences, and providing some key terms to orient us, she led a rich discussion about various topics pertaining to multilingual education.

Together we contemplated how the L1 and C1 can assist in reaching educational objectives as outlined in the Millennium Development Goals and Education for All initiatives. How does the L1 and C1 relate to issues of access, quality and equity?

Drawing on her research in various contexts (Madagascar, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Cambodia, the Maldives, and Timor-Leste), she illustrated some of the effects when students’ L1 is not the language of instruction in school. She then highlighted some of the advantages to bilingual education, stressing that bilingual education programs should not be designed to transfer students to the “dominant” language, but rather to develop the L1 and L2 throughout all levels.

Under Dr. Benson’s guidance, Center members identified many obstacles to L1 instruction, citing issues we’ve seen firsthand in our own contexts. We then contemplated how to address some of these challenges, and Dr. Benson shared some of her own insights based on her research in multiple countries.

Dr. Benson left the CIE community with some inspirational words from Neville Alexander, a teacher-researcher-activist. “If you’re not following your own agenda, you’re following someone else’s.” Alexander’s words were an appropriate way for Benson to end her talk, considering they’re from the man who first challenged the pre-existing idea that multilingualism is a problem. As Benson’s talk showed us, we have made great strides in promoting and implementing multilingual programs in primary basic education, yet there is much work to be done.

top of page

Ash Hartwell gives Keynote Speech at American University Cairo

I was invited by the Graduate School of Education, American University Cairo to give a public presentation, to review the new graduate program (now with almost 300 post-graduate Diploma and 45 Masters students), and teach some classes. I organized a simulation for a class of 50 Masters students and faculty in which six stakeholder groups reviewed and made recommendations to the ‘new’ President of Egypt (who happened to be a woman – with the Dean of the Graduate School of Education playing that role) on the policy proposals of the 21st Century Learning Initiative.  I also held a seminar with a number of Masters students who are developing thesis proposals linked to the concept of global citizenship

The public presentation – which was well advertised with posters throughout the campus - drew an audience of about 100, mostly faculty and students at AUC.  I used Prezi to illustrate a talk on the theme ‘Education for Global Prosperity,’ I examined future scenarios based on current global and Middle East conditions and proposed a concept of human capacity development linked to justice and human rights as the essence of global prosperity. The presentation then brought forth recent research and insights from evolutionary studies and the cognitive neurosciences on human capacity and learning, and concluded by examining implications for the transformation of education systems.

The presentation, and the class, took place during a week with two major protests and clashes in Cairo contesting the legitimacy of the new constitution and President Morsi. One of the purposes of the presentation was, in the words of the Associate Dean, "to provide, in the face of this period of turbulence, a broad perspective on our critical role as educators, teachers and learners in shaping a transformed education system."

top of page

The Role of Education in Peace Building
Reported by Yaelle Stempfelet

Fritz Affolter (Ed. D. 2002) recently spoke to CIE about the role of education in peace building in conflict areas and fragile states. Fritz is currently the program manager for UNICEF’s Global Programme on Peacebuilding, Education, and Advocacy (PBEA). His presentation stimulated an interesting and engaging dialog among CIE students and faculty about the role of education in affecting the drivers of conflict as well as some debate around the role of the UN internationally.

Frtiz AffolterUNICEF is interested in the negative effects of conflict and fragile environments on children and their peace building initiatives seek to help alleviate and prevent these effects. The role of education is complicated as it can easily be used as a driver of war as well as a driver for peace. Understanding the drivers of conflict and their complexities is critical to peace building. Fritz discussed the importance of helping countries reduce the risk of lapse or re-lapse into conflict, estimating that 50 or 60% of fragile states re-lapse into conflict due to the post-conflict conditions.

There are many layers of peace building that have to be considered: social cohesion needs to be assessed at a national level, but also at inter-personal, intra-personal, school-structural, and international levels. Structural conflict drivers include security, political, economic and social conflict drivers at the international, regional, national, sub-national, and local levels. There are many players and factors involved in ensuring peace building efforts are started and are effective. Fritz spoke of UNICEF’s conflict sensitive planning: “We want to know how our actions interact with our intentions.”

Fritz spoke about the global Peace Building, Education, and Advocacy (PBEA) program- an initiative to develop and improve the role of education for peace building. PBEA’s goal is to “strengthen resilience, social cohesion and human security in conflict affected contexts, including countries at risk or, or experiencing and recovering from conflict”. Fritz raised the important question: Where do we come in as educator? Since we are primarily involved in the social, local, sub-national and national levels of society, how can we as educators contribute to the multi-dimensionality of conflicts? Are we, as educators, situated well-enough to have immediate influence on social cohesion?

Fritz said that UNICEF is beginning to focus on monitoring and evaluation (no easy task in emergency situations) to ensure that their practices are in fact ‘making a positive difference’. Fritz referenced some conclusions from three case studies from Lebanon, Nepal and Liberia on the effects of peace building. These conclusions suggest that most education programming is not planned from a peace building perspective but that education for peace building can in fact support security, political reforms, and economic social development, which in turn, can reduce and/or prevent conflict. One recommendation discussed was the need to move from education in emergencies (humanitarian response) to conflict sensitive education and education for peace building (conflict transformation and the transformation of relationships).

Fritz also addressed the issue of entry points – how does UNICEF get permission from governments to start peace building education programs? Fritz argued that it is important to have backing of leaders at grassroots, mid-level, and upper levels in order to effectively implement peace building. Such education programs must also be based on conflict-analysis. In addition, transitional justice processes have to be endorsed by the people. Finally, Fritz briefly mentioned that some important issues under discussion at UNICEF regarding entry points to education for peace building include Gender, Disaster Risk Reduction Education, Gender-based Violence, and Early Childhood Education.

On several occasions throughout his presentation, Fritz made references back to his time at CIE, remembering something that he had learned during his time as a student which continues to serve him today. During the ensuing discussion, an about-to-graduate CIE member asked about ‘life after CIE’ and what got him to his current position. Fritz said he had had many different types of jobs in the field which lead him to this current position with UNICEF. Fritz is a great example and model of the king of ‘deep practitioner’ that CIE strives to produce. We thank Fritz for making the trip to Amherst!

CIE Activities On Campus - Fall 2012

Women Initiated NGOs in Zimbabwe
reported by Mjege Kinyota

At a recent Tuesday meeting two Zimbabwean women spoke about two NGOs that focus on women’s issues in Zimbabwe.  They provide examples of how small organizations and sometimes only one person can have a significant impact.

Fadzie MuzhanduFadzie Muzhandu discussed her work with “Tariro,” an NGO established in 2003 that works with young vulnerable women (mostly orphans) between 8-14 years.  Young women are at high risk in Zimbabwe to drop out of school for failure to pay school fees. The situation is made even more dire, by very high inflation, the HIV epidemic, and the lack of employment opportunities. Tariro pays the school fees and buys school uniforms for 60 women orphans every year. Their goal is to reintegrate these young orphans into the formal system of schooling. Tariro also offer education on sexual and productive health and life skills to these students as one of the efforts break the circle of HIV and poverty.  The NGO, also known as Hope and Health for Zimbabwe’s Orphans, plans to begin providing an additional year of vocation al skill training for girls to help find ways to support themselves.

Fungai Machirori, the founder of“herzimbabwe- a web-based platform that incorporates a website, a Facebook page and a twitter account – spoke about the achievements and challenges of her NGO. Herimbabwe encourages women to raise their voice and discuss a variety of issues which are considered taboo in normal conversation in Fungai MachiroriZimbabwe such as sexuality, tribal relations, race, albinism, and domestic violence. The organization works to connect Zimbabweans at home and those from the diaspora that has occurred since the troubles began in the country.  Herzimbabwe seeks to promote leadership in the media among women by having them tell their stories on blogs, twitter and the web site..  Fungai describes herzimbabwe as “an alternative for women to celebrate feminist identity and raise their voice on different matters”.  The target group is women between 20-35 years of age.

Fungai also talked about the challenges and choices that she faced in starting the NGO on what she described as a zero budget, which provided freedom from restrictions but also meant long hours of volunteer work by all involved.  She shared some of the challenges that she now faces with the success of the organization and the need to find ways for it to survive while she also reclaims time for her own life.

top of page

45th Annual CIE Retreat - Fall 2012
reported by Yaelle Stempfelet

Click on Picture for large version

On a bright and sunny September afternoon, about thirty CIE community members gathered for the 45th annual CIE retreat. The retreat was held again this year at Angel’s Rest, surrounded by beautiful woodlands in the Berkshire foothills of West Leyden Massachusetts.  The blue skies and colorful fall leaves provided a picturesque backdrop to our community-building fun and relaxation. We kicked off the activities by taking time to learn more about one another. After an ice breaker and discussion of culture, we participated in a comic role play activity in which we acted out the experiences that influence CIE academics, facilities, culture and its values (including Tuesday dialogs, the Kinsey classroom, the tag sale and more).

In the evening we shared in a delicious meal that was complemented by a ceremonial tasting of camel milk from Kenya, courtesy of one of the new students. The evening included a bonfire as well as some international dance moves and musical stylings on an array of instruments and drums.

After breakfast the next morning, we began with laughter, including laughter yoga, and then took up this year’s retreat theme: ‘Life after CIE.’ After hearing some tips from recent CIE graduates, community members were able to learn about and discuss the kinds of jobs they want to obtain when they leave CIE. They also discussed the skills and experiences needed and what support networks and resources exist. The activity helped all of us begin to think about and plan for our future lives beyond the CIE.

Thanks to Hassan, Tareque and Yaelle for the pictures

top of page

CIE Annual Fall Reception

In early September the CIE community hosted its annual fall reception at the home of Bjorn and Aleksandra Nordtveit. The reception heralds the start of CIE's 45th year and brings together current students, faculty and leadership from the department and the School of Education. A good time was had by all: great food, good drink, swimming, and even apple-flavored tobacco in the hookah!

Thanks to Tareque Rahman for some of the pictures.

top of page