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Education is emerging as a vital piece of the civil rights movement, both on the local and global levels.  It is a powerful force that spurs national growth and development.  This course attempts to develop and encourage an understanding of educational problems shared through the interconnected and continuously globalizing ‘developed’ and ‘developing’ worlds.  Students are introduced to a variety of environments in which education takes place, and are asked to analyze learning, education and development in non-US and non-Western settings.  The course also provides perspectives on ‘Third World’ history and development as they relate to education and learning. Topics that you will study in this course include non-Western educational perspectives, traditions and approaches; colonialism and its impact on education and learning; and dilemmas and issues in education and international development.


Note: Graduate courses in international education are generally offered once every 3 semesters.


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 will have a chance to talk about their past experiences in project management as well as use cases to solve both hypothetical and real problems in management. By the end of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Articulate their philosophy of and approach to management, leadership and implementation of education projects
  • 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/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


This course provides an introduction to the assumptions, language, logic, and methods of qualitative inquiry in a variety of settings. The emphasis is on the modes of thinking and specific practices associated with generic as well as collaborative approaches to qualitative research. We discuss paradigms, their usefulness in understanding the assumptions implicit in all inquiry, and the typical assumptions of qualitative inquiry. We also focus on conceptualizing and designing qualitative studies and discuss strategies for developing researchable questions and the issues associated with involving participants in the research process. The major work of the course is the conduct of a small-scale qualitative research project which entails a number of activities:

  1. Designing the project;
  2. Negotiating agreement to conduct inquiry;
  3. Practicing the specific methods typically used in qualitative research: interviewing, observing, and document or artifact review;
  4. Analyzing and interpreting the data gathered through the fieldwork; and
  5. Writing up the process and findings in a set of coherent and well-argued papers. Since learning about qualitative research is best accomplished by doing it, immersion in the course and its work is essential and typically requires a substantial time commitment.

Through readings, discussion, class exercises and assignments, we will work through the following topics:

  • the assumptions and theoretical traditions of qualitative research;
  • the role of the researcher in qualitative inquiry;
  • preparing for fieldwork and negotiating agreement about the inquiry;
  • typical qualitative data collection methods;
  • collecting and organizing data in the field;
  • analyzing and interpreting qualitative data;
  • ensuring accurate, rich, and useful qualitative studies;
  • ethical and political dilemmas in qualitative research; and
  • writing the research report.


The goal of this course is to help you develop a proposal for an educational or development project for which you could seek funding. A project proposal must include the design of a project, based on a needs assessment and problem identification; its goals and objectives; a budget and management plan; specific activities and timeline for implementation; and a monitoring and evaluation plan. Each of these elements will be covered in the course. Students will write drafts of each of these elements of a proposal on a topic of their own choosing, receive feedback from the instructor, and pull all pieces together as a full proposal at the end of the class.


Current international educational policy in Africa, Asia and Latin America is centered on strategies necessary to achieve global agendas. Central to those policies is the establishment of measurable objectives, country strategies, plans of action, and the means to monitor progress.  The course will begin with an overview of the nature of policy formation and implementation at national and international levels, drawing on the theory and practice of policy analysis. The course will also review guidelines for the preparation of national policies and their associated M&E frameworks, including various methods for creating and using indicators to measure progress towards goals.

630 MASTER’S SEMINAR (Faculty)

This seminar is intended to provide advanced Master’s students with guidance in conceptualizing, conducting and writing up their Master’s Capstone 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 projects.

**Required for and only open to final semester Master’s students in International Education**


The purpose of this course is to help you explore the theory and practice of literacy education in and outside of formal schooling. The goal is to prepare you to play a role in improving the quality of basic literacy education for children, youth, and adults in developing countries or the U.S. The course readings will focus mostly, but not entirely, on literacy in developing countries, and participants may focus discussions, small group work, and class papers upon literacy in the U.S. as well.

The course will cover three major questions related to the provision of early grade reading and basic literacy education:

  1. Why is literacy important for individuals and communities, and what role does it/can it play in development?
  2. What is reading; what’s involved in learning how to read; and what are the major approaches to helping people learn literacy skills, both in early grades of formal school and also in out-of-school non-formal education?
  3. What programs and systems (within a country) support literacy development across the lifespan?


This seminar/workshop will develop the skills needed to design and implement training programs for personnel in nonformal education, human services, and community development. Content areas will include: the writing of objectives; the selection of appropriate training strategies, techniques, and materials; sequencing and scheduling; implementation of the training program; and formative evaluation methods.

Through the use of workshop methods, the course will provide some direct experience in designing and facilitating training activities and assessing their outcomes. Students will write design a training of their own, writing drafts of the elements of a facilitator’s training guidebook, receive feedback from the instructor throughout the semester, and pull together these pieces into a finished guidebook at the end of the course.


This course is concerned with the meaning and practices of everyday life. Particular meanings attach to the ways people in particular cultures do things. Primary stress will be placed on the relation between knowledge and power, ethnicity/class/gender and culture, and the attempts within cultural studies to embrace a variety of disciplines in a transdisciplinary critique of intellect and institution. We will do this by exploring the multiple ways in which social identities are both reflected and reconstituted through everyday practices, and we will emphasize the ways in which cultural backgrounds and social identities affect how we interpret the world.


This course enables participants to develop, expand, or deepen their understanding of adult learning theories (as compared to theories of child and adolescent learning).  The purpose of this course is to explore theories of how people learn—children and adults—and then apply one or more to (a) your own learning, and (b) to a particular context within which you think you will be working, towards the end goal of improving the quality of educational activities for adults, whether they be teachers we train, staff we supervise, or adult students we teach. The course will be relevant to those interested in adult learning in all contexts, U.S. and internationally. The class is organized into four parts:

Part One:  Focus on child and adult learning theory and historical trends, including the similarities and differences between how children and adults learn.

Part Two:  Focus on research about the neuro-biological aspects of learning (recent research on the brain and learning) and the implications for helping people learn.

Part Three:  Focus on the characteristics of the adult learner (social, economic, gender, cultural, etc.) and how these characteristics affect learning.

Part Four:  Focus on the characteristics of the learning event (the educational intervention or activity), especially within the context where you will be working.

The course is organized to reflect a key concept in learning theory:  that learning is enhanced through self-organized learning within a supportive community, facilitated through dialogue, exploration and self-discovery.  In other words, as you become familiar with adult learning theory, you will apply it to decide on your own learning activities and assignments. The class sessions will be structured for maximum participation, with a mix of individual, pairs, small group, and whole group learning, AND a mix of experiential, analytical discussion, and application activities.


This course covers the research, theories and professional wisdom about the barriers to and strategies for supporting teachers’ professional growth in under-resourced educational systems in the U.S. or in developing countries. This course focuses on individual teachers and how to continually improve their knowledge and skills through in-service training, professional development, and professional learning throughout their professional careers as teachers in developing countries.

As such, it makes use of existing research on how teachers develop over time and with experience, how effective professional development and learning opportunities can be delivered in under-resourced and fragile situations, and how to help teachers become learners of their own craft, through reflective practice, communities of practice, and support for their development as professionals in situations where conditions for teaching are far from optimal.

By the end of the course, participants will be able to:

  1. Articulate the key research findings and theories about how individual teachers grow and develop over their lives as professional teachers, and state their views on the relationship between teacher growth and the quality of education in developing countries.
  2. Define teacher quality and teacher effectiveness, professional development and professional learning, and other key terms related to helping teachers grow.
  3. Cite the evidence-based features of effective professional development and professional learning, and identify ways that effective models can be adapted and implemented in a variety of developing country contexts.
  4. State lessons learned from multiple observations of a teacher professional learning activity in a local school or adult education program.
  5. Articulate a plan for designing and implementing a system for continual professional growth of teachers in their own context (at the level and system in which they envision working: formal system [primary, secondary, tertiary], non-formal system [local, regional or national], etc


This course offers an introduction to nonformal and popular education, particularly as applied to contexts of adversity. The basic philosophical and conceptual works in the field are reviewed, including the theories of Freire and Illich. The course relates theories to practice, and provides an overview of critical issues in the planning and implementation of nonformal education.


Examines capitalist, socialist, and humanist theories of social and economic development. Identifies the assumptions, underlying values, and operational principles characteristic of specific theories and explores their implications as international educators. Offers a theoretical perspective for analyzing the role played by education in different development perspectives.


This is a required introductory seminar for all new masters and doctoral degree candidates in the International Education Specialization. The course has two goals. First, it will provide an introduction to the IE Program. The seminar will review the structure and procedures for degree programs, resources available for graduate study, planning for personal and professional growth during the degree process, and the various career options available. Second, it will present a general overview of the highly diversified field of "International Development Education": the evolving relationship between theory and practice, the central issues in the field, and the role of education in international development. The course will introduce the history, theory, and practice of international development education, and will examine selected applied problems. Associated faculty will make presentations on their topics of expertise.


This course focuses on the intersection between development, education - both formal and nonformal - and gender relations. The overall goal is for you to become familiar with the theories, research, and strategies for policy and practice to make development and education more gender equitable. By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Describe the different theoretical perspectives on gender, empowerment and development.
  • Identify potential benefits or outcomes--socio-cultural, health, economic, and/or political/legal--of gender equity in Development and education.
  • Identify the key factors--socio-cultural, health, economic, political/legal at the local, national and global level-- influencing girls' and women's access to high quality education.
  • List strategies for fostering participation of women and girls, in particular, in development projects.
  • Describe gender-sensitive analytic frameworks and policies for reducing the gender gap in education.
  • Cite a range of strategies and approaches for making education more accessible, effective, and gender equitable.
  • Articulate a particular gender-related problem in international development, along with a strategy for solving that problem.


This seminar will address the principles and practices of monitoring and evaluation in international and domestic contexts.  International development and domestic funding agencies call for systematically conducted and thoughtful monitoring and evaluation of programs and projects.  In addition, monitoring and evaluating work-in-progress represents good practice and provides opportunities for programmatic and organizational learning.  We will review key principles of M&E, examining the processes of building relationships with key stakeholders; collaboratively understanding the theory of action embedded in programs and projects; developing valuable and interesting indicators and benchmarks; and implementing specific methods to generate useful information. We will also look closely at participatory evaluation, a newer approach focused on using continual evaluation to improve and change the project to make it more relevant to learners’ or beneficiaries’ needs.


Globalization is a term that is hotly contested for its actual meaning and implications. The term is used to reflect a sense of worldwide crisis as well as one of newfound opportunities. In this way, globalization has become the raison d'etre for new proposals in public policy, of which education is most significant. In this course we will approach the study of this link between education and globalization from two directions: one, from a study of recent policy initiatives in education with a view toward understanding how a particular kind of globalization is being constructed through education policy; and two, from a study of the anthropological and sociological literature on globalization that are possible, and the implications of each for education policy.

We will study specific instances of educational reform in the North American, Latin American and Asian contexts. This literature will allow us to compare educational reforms across First and Third World contexts and gain insights into not only the global nature of restructuring efforts, but also their implications for social equity and democracy. The course will also enable students to identify "actually existing globalization" in their current work contexts - that is, ascertaining shifts in local school or higher education policy and discourse as reflective of globalization.


The course objective is to examine opportunities for establishing learning environments that prevent and ameliorate social conflict leading to violence. We post the following questions: ‘How does schooling fit within larger efforts to regenerate social support networks and community well-being? What do communities learn from conflict? What broad approaches to learning and community development might better facilitate healing, resilience, and the rebuilding of trust?' Further, how can community interventions and policy initiatives account for the gendered impacts of conflict? The course has three broad themes: the nature, mapping and roots of social conflict; opportunities and experience providing education in social emergencies; and peace building through learning experiences.


This course is required for all entering doctoral candidates and is intended to provide a forum to engage in sustained discussion about and reflection on the assumptions, theories, and practice of inquiry relevant for policy and leadership studies. The course will be structured as a seminar in which we explore the assumptions that shape inquiry, discuss the major research genres/theories, and examine examples of practice. We will read and critically examine relevant readings, seeking to uncover how often-tacit notions shape approaches to inquiry. We will also look at various genres of research through readings and presentations, critically analyzing the assumptions embedded in them and examining what they obscure and what they reveal about a topic. Finally, close scrutiny of examples of practice within the three concentrations – Educational Administration, Higher Education, and International Education – will provide grounding in the real world of research.


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 behaviour and expectations about the functions and roles of educational managers.


This course is divided into three parts that aim at providing a counter-narrative to the predominant forms of social sciences discourses prevalent in academia:

  1. Transpersonal research methods – the idea to transform self and others through research - illustrated by three methods: intuitive, integral and organic inquiry;
  2. Critical discourse analysis will introduce the methodology of classification of latent and manifest content of a body of communicated material (film, social and written media) and examine how they construct social and power relations, identities, and knowledge;
  3. Introduction to post-colonial and indigenous methodologies includes critical race theory; political ecology/critical geography; critical (auto) ethnography; performance ethnography; alternative/marginalized feminisms and queer theory.

The course demonstrates tools to conduct transformative fieldwork, analyze discourses and assessing their underlying symbols and imagery in the form of spoken statements, publicity, posters and awareness-raising messages, photos and movies. Students will have the opportunities to apply various field research and analytic methods to conduct hands-on research and analysis in their field of interests. This counter-narrative to social science traditions will allow students and practitioners to re-envision the way of designing modes of inquiry that displaces modes of power controlling knowledge production.

After successful completion of this course, students will:

  • Understand theoretical and methodological traditions that inform current uses of non-positivist research approaches in educational and development research;
  • Design research that transgresses and decentralizes the structures of power that are inherent to traditional academia;
  • Identify appropriate methods and uses of content and discourse analysis in research as determined by research questions and purposes;
  • Apply various approaches of content and discourse analysis to research in international education and development.

The course is intended to help those who are designing their research, or have spoken or written data samples (or photos or movies) to be analyzed. The course demonstrates tools to analyze texts and to assess their underlying symbols and imagery of in the form of spoken statements, publicity, posters and awareness-raising messages, photos and movies. Students will have the opportunities to apply various analytic methods to conduct hands-on research in their field of interests.


This workshop is designed to provide guidance for intermediate and advanced graduate students who wish to undertake a study or project in the field of international education. It is intended to serve those interested in examining a specific problem area or sub-field not covered in an existing course, or those wishing to combine a field project with analytical study relating experience to literature. Activities will be designed and contracted with individuals or small groups according to need. Recent examples include:

  • Education and Social Movements
  • Human Rights Education
  • Theater in Nonformal Education
  • Refugee & Immigrant Education
  • 21st Century Learning
  • Literacy Research for Adult and International Education
  • Learning in Post-Conflict Situations
  • Youth, Education and Employment (Spring 2012)


This foundational course gives an overview of comparative and international education, introducing students to key debates in the field – past, present and future.

Starting with a historic overview of the study of comparative education, we will first be critically examining the political economy that frames its institutions, including Academic and Practitioner Societies (such as CIES), as well as NGOs and international organizations such as UNESCO and the World Bank. We will analyze their colonial roots and impact on local education systems, as they are borrowing, lending and importing educational practices from one country to another, as well as imposing benchmarks for measuring educational results. We will further explore cutting-edge concepts and trends in comparative education and investigate forces that impact educational systems internationally, including historical, economic, social, political, ethnic and religious factors. We will be reexamining our assumptions surrounding schooling and international education, (de)constructing current discourses on cost-effectiveness, value-for-money, quality, equality and social impact. Both normative/hegemonic and subversive discourses will be covered. We will apply these theories, exploring their influence on praxis in international education.

We will:

  • Examine what is meant by “comparison” or “comparative” as related to the study of education;
  • Examine the ways in which cultural, social, economic, historical, political facets of societies manifest themselves in schooling;
  • Examine cross-national themes such as educational transfer, political and economic development, social stratification and globalization;
  • Provide tools and concepts for comparing different school systems within the systems’ contexts;
  • Examine the historic and colonial roots of comparative and international education.

We will be exploring the field through the main Journals that are shaping the discourses in the field, for example, the Comparative Education Review, which is currently edited by a UMass CIE team.


The course is organized into three clusters. The first focuses on deepening students' existing understanding of the theory and nature of PAR and related methods through readings, case analyses, and written and in-class activities. During the first cluster, students will make use of the extensive PAR resources to be found on listservs and websites around the world. Several assignments will require use of these sources. The second focuses on the specific methods associated with PAR. In this cluster, we examine the various methods of inquiry and action integral to PAR, providing opportunities to practice methods through in-class activities and local projects. In the final cluster, the focus shifts to developing a set of critical criteria for assessing when, why, and how to use the methods in a specific project. Throughout the course, we will rely on cases as vehicles for developing the appropriate knowledge and skills: some are included in the readings, others participants will write, based on their own experiences. The teaching strategies for the course are based on the principle that opportunities to practice, critically analyze, and reflect are integral to learning. To that end, the course provides experiences in classroom-based practice of the various methods of PAR. Ongoing participatory projects will also offer laboratories for engaging in specific methods. We will also rely on cases that depict participatory projects; these draw from a variety of sectors and cultural contexts. There will be two papers critically examining a specific PAR method and two cases analyses for the course. In addition, students will demonstrate one method in class.