Centre for International Education (CIE)


Teachers and Quality

Quality education and the pivotal role of teachers in achieving it, are central to this research theme. A wide range of CIE activities focus on the multiple dimensionsof quality and teacher education, which are high on the international agenda. The main concerns of this research theme relate to the construction and delivery of the curriculum; the quality and outcomes of the learning experience for pupils; physical infrastructure and resources; teacher training and continuing professional development. 

Members of CIE have engaged in several research projects that fall within this theme. These include Teacher Preparation and Continuing Professional Development in Africa (TPA) which looked at how the initial and continuing education of teachers impacts on teaching mathematics and reading in the early years of schooling. The study was carried out in six African countries to identify examples of good and promising practice and to make recommendations for high-quality and cost-effective approaches for teacher development.

Other projects include Multi-Site Teacher Education Research (MUSTER) project which explored teacher education in Ghana, Lesotho, Malawi, South Africa and Trinidad; Tobago. A twelve country study of teacher motivation that shed light on key issues concerned with remuneration, incentives to work in difficult locations, and the problems of redeployment in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia [see Bennell, P. and Akyeampong, K. (2007): Teacher Motivation and Incentives in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, London: DFID].

Issues related to the curriculum are another broad area of research activity and interest within this theme including research and writing around intersecting questions of pedagogy, assessment and curriculum innovation. Research on specific curriculum areas has included mathematics, English, sex education - HIV/AIDS awareness, citizenship education, vocational education and technology skills including the use of ICT.

See Publications for more details.

Governance, Finance and Planning

Research on the governance of education systems, policy analysis and finance have developed from studies undertaken for the World Education Conferences at Jomtien (1990) and Dakar (2000) and from national planning commissions in Uganda, South Africa, Tanzania, Rwanda and Kenya. This research initially focussed on primary education, but has been complemented by cross-national studies of secondary school financing, by associated studies on strategic resource planning, and on costs and financing of teacher education. Attention is also being given to the skills development agenda - in particular the reform and governance of public technical and vocational education and training institutions.

One of the key areas that has dominated debate in the field of international education and development has been that of guaranteeing access to education for the world's children and the barriers to that goal. While the concern about access to education is a cross-cutting thematic area, it has particular governance, planning and financial implications - both for national governments, international agencies and bi-lateral donors. Work has been carried out on the financial implications of expanding access and the related responsibilities of local, national and international actors. We have also carried out research on the implications for secondary schooling of the widening expansion of Universal Primary Education and the need for the international community to not neglect the key role of secondary education to national economic growth and social wellbeing. Similarly, the governance mechanism of the decentralisation of education has been a key concern of several CIE members and their research. The changing relationship between the public and private sector in education is an equally pressing issue and research has been conducted on Public Private Partnerships; and also on the role of Non-State Providers of Education.

Another broad area of research is one associated with international aid and national policy processes which explores the implications of international and national education targets and changes in aid modalities associated with achieving these targets.It also explores the influence of international agencies on policy and practice in developing countries - in the context of global political, social and economic forces. Important insights draw attention to the inappropriateness of benchmarks that have been set as part of the Education for All fast-track initiative, and the neglect by such a global approach to countries most in need of support ('fragile states'). It also addresses issues related to asymmetries in donor/recipient relationships and the risks of global approaches to external assistance in diverse contexts.

See Publications for more details

Access and Equity

Access and equity are central dimensions of education and development. Universal participation in basic education of quality leading to learning outcomes that are valued, is part of the definition of development - as well as a means to achieve greater wellbeing and poverty reduction. Development does not take place unless equity improves. Enhanced access to formal and non-formal means of acquiring knowledge, understanding and skill is essential to sustainable long-term improvements in productivity, health and nutrition; as well as reductions in the inter-generational transmission of poverty. It is also essential for greater social participation and voice, good governance, the empowerment of marginalised groups, gender equity and reductions in income inequality.

The Global Monitoring Report identifies over 60 million primary age children out of school. Many more are silently excluded through combinations of entering school late, being over-age in grade, having low levels of attendance and achieving more than two years below national norms. If these factors are recognised, there are likely to be more than 250 million children whose right to a basic education is being denied. In much of Sub Saharan Africa and South Asia less than 40 per cent of children complete lower secondary school successfully, and higher education enrols less than 10 per cent of the age group.

The research within this theme focuses on educational inclusion and the acquisition of knowledge and skill across the continuum of levels from pre-school to higher education. Poverty remains the greatest excluder, with many other factors playing a role in different ways at different levels. Early childhood under-nutrition and sickness can compromise later achievement. Social practices and child labour may discourage enrolment. Poor quality schools and rising opportunity costs may result in failures on the demand side. Costs are often a factor, especially at higher levels. And higher education is often finded in socially regressive ways. The state will always be the provider of last resort, and for the poorest is likely to generate the only opportunities for social mobility out of poverty. Provision has to be more, rather than less, equitable so that it can lead to greater horizontal and vertical equity across and within social groups.

A variety of research methods are used within this theme to explore changing patterns of access and their consequences for development. These include mapping the situation within and across countries using large data sets, eg. household surveys, EMIS, census data and examination performance. These generate analytic insight into inequality and their causes, and include both cross-sectional and longitudinal analysis. School-level studies depending on interviews and observation explore the dynamics of access and inequality at local levels, illuminate interactions between schools and the communities they serve, and within schools as social institutions. Other research uses case study analyses of local social and cultural relations and contexts and is directed towards understanding how and why inequalities persist and how many factors may intersect and inhibit meaningful access. The outputs of research are used to inform policy dialogue and contribute to the development of the political economy of education and development.

The Consortium for Research on Educational Access, Transitions and Equity (CREATE) is a major international research initiative within this theme. This large-scale programme of research set out to analyse policy and practice designed to reduce educational exclusion and expand access to basic education for school aged children across four core countries. The research was supported by the UK's Department for International Development (DFID) and led by Professor of Education, Keith Lewin with formal partnerships with BRAC, Bangladesh, the National University of Education, Planning and Administration (NUEPA), India, the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa and the Universities of Winneba and Cape Coast, Ghana. The research, conducted over a six year period involving 22 doctoral students, tracked over 16,000 children, surveyed approximately 18,000 households, commissioned research papers across 12 themes and developed high profile,national analytic reviews. It has developed well known conceptual tools, including its six 'zones of exclusion', the expanded vision of access, silent exclusion and techniques for exploring changing patterns of access over time - and linking these to the political agenda of Education For All. The website has over 100 research publications available for download, podcasts and a searchable database.

Other studies on access and equity are being undertaken alongside CREATE. These include the UNICEF-funded Regional Situational Analysis for Out-of-School Children in Eastern and Southern Africa. This cross-national study analyses patterns of access; undertakes quantitative analysis of the influence of wealth, gender and location (rural/urban) on participation; explores national policies and strategies; and identifies key social groups (eg. nomadic people, disabled, rural communities) facing educational exclusion.

The Adamawa State Primary Education Research (ASPER) project was a collaboration between the Adamawa State Universal Basic Education Board and CIE. Situated in north eastern Nigeria, Adamawa State was the country's highest performing state following a national education audit in 2010. Despite this, and considerable progress towards Education For All goals, a 'state of emergency' in education was subsequently declared. Between January 2011 and June 2013, the research team conducted an exploration of access, education quality and outcomes in primary schools, with specific reference to gender. Both qualitative and quantitative data was gathered from different zones across the state to explore the factors that influence access. An executive summary and final report are available to download on the project's web page.

Geneva Global, a philanthropic donor, has funded Speed Schools  programmes in Sub-Saharan Africa designed to enrol out-of-school children and provide accelerated learning programmes to bring them back into main stream schooling within a year. CIE is evaluating, through pre and post test methods using control groups, how successful the schools are in raising levels of achievement. 
Another growing concern is to make inputs into the recasting of the Milennium Development Goals (MDGs) as they relate to education, since these will be re-profiled after 2015. A developing strand of work is, therefore, initiating engagement with the majot bi-lateral, multi-lateral and national stakeholders who will generate the frameworks within which the MDGs will evolve.

See Publications for more details

Gender, Identities and Citizenship

National and religious belonging, socio-economic status, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, caste, location, lifestyle and experiences of migration and displacement all impact on the provision and uptake of education in societies globally. Understanding how identities interact with power relations is central to the analysis of educational and social exclusion. In turn, this dynamic is fundamental to active citizenship, which is a key concern for international development and vital to democratisation and social cohesion. Forms of formal and informal exclusion from educational institutions or within them work against sustained access to meaningful learning with long-term individual and social effects on productivity, wellbeing and health. On the other hand, more inclusive educational provision can contribute to the reduction of inter-generational cycles of poverty, improved social participation and voice, the empowerment of women and other marginalised groups, and reductions in inequality.

Research in this theme focuses on identities, citizenship, rights, equality and multiple forms of social and educational exclusion. Informed by sociological and anthropolological perspectives, CIE members have used intersectional analyses to explore diversity and difference; contextual relations and social constructions of identity; hegemonic practices and the production of subordinated and dominant groups; patterns of educational and social participation as well as the social and affective influences of recognition and identity affiliation.

Current CIE work in this theme includes: 
- The Adamawa State Primary Education Research (ASPER) project focused on the ways that gender intersects with other dimensions of identity (religion, poverty, location) to influence the uptake of education and in the social relationships and processes within and between schools, their local communities and education administration in educational provision. An executive summary and final report are available to download on the project's web page.
- Youth as Active Citizens (YAC) with Oxfam Novib was a three country study (Pakistan, Palestine and Senegal) focusing on ways that marginalised youth might be encouraged to claim their rights to education and/or sexual and reproductive health rights. The involvement of youth as novice researchers was integral to this research. 
- Research on the ways that ethnic minority children's identities develop in education that has drawn on work from the Home and Away project. 
- UNICEF's Out-of-school children review identified children of internally displaced people, migrants, refugees and nomadic groups as being particularly vulnerable to being out-of-school.
Hidden Histories: Migrants in Brighton and Hove, was a participative project, exploring the life stories and experiences of migrants, including refugees and asylum seekers living in the city.

Indicative Publications

Dunne, M. and Ananga, E.D. (2013): Dropping Out: Identity conflict in and out of school in Ghana, International Journal of Educational Development (in Press) 
Qureshi, K. and Zeitlyn, B. (2012): British Muslims, British Soldiers: Cultural citizenship in the new imperialism, Ethnicities, (in Press) 
Zeitlyn, B. and Mand, K. (2012): Researching Transnational Childhoods, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 38(6), 987-1007. ISSN 1369-183X 
Morrice, L. (2011): Being a Refugee: Learning and identity. A longitudinal study of refugees in the UK (Stoke on Trent, Trentham Books) 
Croft, A (2010): Including Disabled Children in Learning: Challenges in developing countries, CREATE Pathways to Access, Research Monograph No.36, University of Sussex 
Durrani, N. and Dunne, M. (2010): Curriculum and National Identity: Exploring the links between religion and nation in Pakistan, Journal of Curriculum Studies, 42(2), 215-240 
Durrani, N. (2008): Schooling the 'other': Representation of gender and national identities in Pakistani curriculum texts, Compare, 38(5): 595-610 
Dunne, M. (2008): Gender, Sexuality and Development: Education and Society in sub-Saharan Africa (Rotterdam, Sense Publishers). ISBN 978-90-8790-470-8

See Publications for more details.

Conflict and Peacebuilding

Since the mid-1990s, the relationship between education, conflict and international development has risen up the policy agenda of international organisations, NGOs and bi-lateral development agencies, and has spawned a vibrant sub-field within the area of international and comparative education. The focus on education in conflict-affected states was initially prompted by a realisation that reaching the international targets of Education for All was impossible without addressing conflict-affected states where it was believed 50 per cent of the world's out-of-school children lived. There was also recognition of the particularity of delivering education in conflict-affected states, requiring new policies and approaches. This impetus was further consolidated after the events of 9/11 when powerful northern governments became increasingly focused on the relationship between zones of conflict, insecurity in low-income countries, the (in)security of their citizens and weak education systems in conflict-affected states. Increases in international development assistance have run parallel to these developments.

Research within this theme seeks to explore the complex relationship between education and conflict: What role can education systems play in contributing to both war and peace? What role does education play - if any - prior to the outbreak of conflict, during conflict, in the immediate aftermath of conflict, and in long-term post-conflict reconstruction? What roles do state, non-state, national and international actors play in the global governance of education in conflict-affected states - and how can we ensure that they contribute to long-term, sustainable peacebuilding?

See Publications for more details.