International & Comparative Education Research
A core strength of the Department is the international and comparative work of our faculty. These efforts assist with the development of education in other countries, as well as inform the education of practitioners and researchers in the United States. The following section provides an overview of the department’s work in these areas. Several of our research programs have separate web pages, which can be accessed using the button on the right side of the page.
History of Department’s International Engagements
EAPS’s engagements over the past 30 years have been concerned with research and scholarship, capacity building and technical assistance, as well as analytical work supporting policy development in developing and developed countries. A common thread in the dossier of international projects has been the strengthening of decision-making at all levels of national education systems, partly through the development and use of timely, high quality and relevant knowledge. From the mid-1980s through the 1990s, EAPS faculty led or contributed to education and human resource sector assessments in the Maldives (for UNDP); Mongolia (for the Asian Development Bank); Pakistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan (for UNICEF); the Russian Federation (for OECD); and Liberia, Yemen, Haiti, Indonesia, Malawi and Ghana (for USAID). Particular attention to the development of improved information for decision-making can be found in these engagements; work undertaken for USAID by EAPS faculty in Ghana in the mid-1990s had as its primary purpose the development of appropriate management information systems and the capacities to use such systems. At the request of the National Research Council and the National Academy of Sciences, EAPS Professors A. Cresswell and D. Windham authored substantial contributions to Worldwide Education Statistics: Enhancing UNESCO’s Role, providing a basis for the full-scale review and re-design of UNESCO’s Division of Statistics (now UNESCO’s Institute for Statistics).
Further, EAPS and the University at Albany have shouldered administrative and managerial responsibilities for substantial USAID projects carried out in other countries—for example, Improving the Efficiency of Educational Systems, which concluded in the early 1990s. At the same time, EAPS faculty also assumed major analytical and training responsibilities in USAID’s Somali Management Training and Development Project.
Current International Work (see also links on right)
Activities and faculty recruitment since the mid-1990s further strengthen the department’s international engagement, contribution and expertise in comparative and international education.
Comparative and International Education Policy Program
In 2002, the Comparative and International Education Policy Program (CIEPP) was established within EAPS to conduct research and train researchers and practitioners to explore and enhance the relationship between public policy, educational institutions, and educational effectiveness in an international context. CIEPP’s scholarly work has revolved around two broad themes: shifting public/private dynamics and quality/accountability. A separate, complementary project under the first theme, the Program for Research on Private Higher Education (PROPHE), is directed by Professor D. Levy. Through an extensive international research network, PROPHE undertakes studies of private sector development in postsecondary education around the world. CIEPP and PROPHE, primarily with multi-year funding from the Ford Foundation, have a record of success in hosting international conferences and symposia, supporting doctoral research, and generating relevant research and scholarly publications. Under the second theme, the EERC directed by Valverde is completing capacity development work for the monitoring and evaluation of educational opportunities and learning in the Dominican Republic, now as principal advisors to the Dominican Secretary of State for Education. Finally, since 2009 A. Benavot has coordinated a large-scale cross-national project examining the intended curriculum in primary school mathematics and reading in developing countries, funded under UNESCO’s Learning Counts initiative.
Institute for Global Education Policy Studies
With support from the University, CIEPP is evolving into an expanded Institute for Global Education Policy Studies (IGEPS). The core goal of the new Institute, building on the experience in CIEPP, is to further enhance the “internationalization” of educational research, teaching and service in the School of Education and the University at Albany. The Institute aims to further contribute to scholarship and applied work in comparative and international education (CIE); augment master’s degree studies with international-oriented course offerings and field experiences; attract foreign and international-oriented doctoral students and visiting scholars; initiate a series of public presentations by prominent scholars and policy makers on comparative and international education; and develop intensive short courses in CIE for delivery worldwide. It will certainly enable the Department to further expand the teaching and training of a large and diverse population of international students, many of whom arrive with external grants.
Comparative and International Education Society
The Department serves as the home to the Secretariat of the Comparative and International Education Society (www.cies.us). The Secretariat provides the administrative support for the Society and is the primary contact for the CIES membership. Founded in 1956, CIES is the largest and oldest scholarly organization in the world dedicated to fostering cross-cultural understanding, scholarship, academic achievement and societal development through the international study of educational ideas, systems, and practices. The Society's members include more than 2000 academics, practitioners, and students from around the world. Further, the Society publishes the prestigious journal Comparative Education Review (CER) with the University of Chicago Press. The Secretariat is led by EAPS faculty, Jason Lane, CIES Secretary, and Alan Wagner, CIES Treasurer.