Courses

1. Systemic Corruption in Education

Course Description
Today, one third of the world’s population sees its educational institutions as corrupt (Transparency International, 2011). Systemic corruption in education has adversely impacted development for decades, but institutional efforts to better understand and address the impact of corruption and its social implications have emerged only in recent years. In fact, organizations – such as Transparency International, International Institute for Educational Planning, and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development – have all increased their efforts in this arena. The focus of this course is on understanding systemic corruption in education, its social implications, and to what extent the actors and types of corruption vary throughout different educational contexts. The survey course provides students with a venue to critically analyze key corruption trends and anti-corruption efforts in corruption-prone settings. Research studies by OECD (Integrity of Education Systems Program ‘s case studies) and work by other international actors to critically examine and better understand severity of corruption’s impact on development.

Course examines questions of why corruption occurs in education, when it becomes systemic, how it impacts societies, and what preventive and punitive measures can be used to lessen its presence in education today. By the end of the course, students are well versed in the issues surrounding corruption and ways in which the same could be better addressed in a variety of educational settings participants may later encounter in their professional careers. In the process, students gain knowledge on a variety of issues, including:

1. Educational corruption taxonomies,
2. Educational corruption’s impact on educational quality, labor market dynamics, development, mobility, teacher/student conduct/behavior/reactions…etc.
3. Facilitators of corruption and assessment of corruption proneness,
4. Prevention/anti-corruption planning and policies.

 

2. Education and Economic Development

Course Description
This course surveys the links between education and economic development. We examine differentials in educational attainment and schooling investments across the globe. We additionally look at the factors that influence primary and secondary school enrollment in developing countries; the role of higher education in economic development; and the nature of inequities in educational outcomes on the basis of income, gender, race, and ethnicity. The course then moves to understanding the demand for educational investments, the supply and costs of educational inputs, and the theory and measurement of cost-benefit analysis in education. We also discuss alternative approaches to the public financing of education, issues of decentralization, and governance. Throughout the course, there is a focus on key policy issues in education and economic development, such as the gender gap in schooling, child labor force participation, adult literacy programs, the role of international organizations (such as the World Bank), the impact of the IMF-based structural adjustment programs on educational investments, and the relative impact of public versus private spending on primary, secondary and tertiary education.

 

3. Quantitative Analysis in Comparative and International Education

Course Description
Familiarity with the quantitative methods is essential to a broad spectrum of professions in education, ranging from those related to policy making to those in the area of educational research. Specific considerations are needed as we analyze issues involving practices and policies addressing educational challenges in international settings. Throughout the course, students will be provided with weekly opportunities to employ statistical techniques in SPSS, using primary datasets. By the end of the course, students will gain a high level of statistical literacy and understanding of the quantitative methods’ applicability in research, an in-demand skillset in the field of international and comparative education and beyond.

 

4. Qualitative Research and Evaluation in International Education

Course Description
Our ability to successfully conceptualize and align a methodological framework for a research project with the project’s broader theoretical context and ultimately research objective is essential to the overall quality of our research. The implications of the poorly specified methodological frameworks can be costly both short- and long-term. Therefore, this course will aim at helping advanced students – those interested in either expanding or effectively applying their research capacities – formulate a qualitative methodological framework for a research project of their choice. Students already working on their dissertations or those interested in pursuing research projects within their professional settings will benefit from a broad examination of qualitative approach discussed in the class. Students will ultimately expand their skills in the arena of applied social research. They will build their own critical perspectives by examining, as well as building on, the methodological approaches currently employed in the field of education.

1. Bridge gaps between theoretical conceptualization of a research question and actual implementation of the research plan;
2. Critically examine methodological frameworks of research projects and published writings in the field;
3. Be able to point to key methodological weaknesses, advantages and/or disadvantages of a chosen approach;
4. Learn ways to optimize their own research goals by devising a methodological framework tailored to the goals of their research;
5. Optimize their sample by formulating effective interview guides and select appropriate analytical tools.