50 years of Doctoral Dissertations at CIE

In September of 2019, CIE published the 7th edition of its Dissertation Abstracts, a compilation of the abstracts of all dissertations completed by students associated with CIE since its founding in 1969.


In the 50 years of its existence CIE has produced just under 300 doctoral graduates, a very respectable record for a program which has had on average 5 faculty members over the years.  Although the numbers vary considerably from year to year, this is an average of close to 6 doctoral degrees every year for the 50 years.


The very first dissertation was written under the guidance of Professor George Urch (left) by Emeka Manuwuike, a student from Nigeria, who graduated in 1971.  He wrote about the need to revise the inherited colonial education system by incorporating aspects of traditional African education. 



The most recent dissertation was written in 2019 by Yi Sun (right) from China, who was advised by Professor Bjorn Nordtveit.  Her dissertation analyzed the China-Africa exchange program at Zhejiang Normal University and its impact on both Africa and China.


Browsing through the abstracts allows one to trace the evolution of development challenges addressed by the work of CIE. Many of the dissertations were inspired by or associated with CIE field projects. The abstracts reflect the values that inform the research and the practice of the Center: the theory and practice of liberation, consciousness-raising, literacy and popular education, empowerment, social change, gender issues in education, an emphasis on qualitative, participatory and action research methodologies, and education in crisis and conflict situations.


The emphasis on the human component of development reflects the ongoing commitment of CIE to study and implement educational processes which increase the learners' control over their lives.


The abstracts are presented in chronological order based on dates of graduation and numbered sequentially. Abstracts are indexed by the author's name in the Author Index, by geographic location of the research, and by topic in the Subject Index.


The CIE Dissertation Abstracts can be downloaded free from UMass Scholarworks here.


The full text of individual dissertations are available free from ScholarWorks, a public, online digital library for scholarly publications from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Most the dissertations contained in this document can be accessed from the CIE section of Scholarworks here.