Mei Lan Frame

Greetings! My name is Mei Lan Frame and I came to the Center of International Education after 15 years of working in education as a teacher, trainer and consultant across several countries in the Asia and South Asia region. Throughout my work and research, I have engaged issues that include rural education in India, China, and Thailand, teacher education and professional norms amongst teachers in Beijing, and the role that culture (both institutional and social) plays in shaping education.


My experience in education has given me first-hand knowledge of a variety of differing national and cultural contexts, as well each country’s unique approach to pedagogy and learning. In every country, education is rooted in a particular cultural framework. This framework, regardless of its ideals or goals, will benefit those who belong to or understand it, while disadvantaging those who do not. As a teacher and teaching trainer, I believe it essential to respect every student’s cultural framework so that successful learning can occur.


A fundamental experience in shaping my views was my research on the role of community and culture in a K-5 multi-grade rural education program known as RIVER (the Rishi Valley Institute for Educational Resources). India’s national curriculum favors students who speak Hindi, ascribe to the values of Hinduism, and live in urban areas. In rural Andra Pradesh, however, people speak Telegu and belong to minority groups designated as “tribal” and who ascribe to “folk” beliefs. RIVER’s unique approach to a failing education system was to ground curriculum in local culture and community through the utilization of local resources.


After my research in India, I returned to China, and implemented parts of the RIVER program at a rural K-3 village school in Hebei province, where village children were rapidly losing touch with their culture and community, both of which were rapidly disappearing with new government regulations.


While a doctoral student at UMass, my interest on the role of culture in education coalesced into studying the institutional strength and culture of China’s National College Entrance Exam (NCEE), and the efficacy of reforms to China’s test-based education system. My dissertation research focused on the rules, norms, and beliefs that uphold the NCEE and how the culture of the NCEE poses challenged to recent reforms to that promote non-tested requirements for college admission.


During my studies at CIE, I also worked as one of the managing editors for the journal Comparative Education Review, a position that gave me first-hand access to important research and debates in the field, as well as the ins and outs of academic publishing.


My doctoral studies at UMass have given me the knowledge and experience to progress both academically and professionally, as well as opening up areas of research for me, and I look forward to future collaborations and news with the Center. [5-20]





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CIE Graduate