Friday, July 31, 2009

Foundation for Asia Pacific Education

I’m posting today about a foundation I’ve come to learn about and I really like what they are about so I am posting to IHEC Blog about the Foundation for Asia Pacific Education. Based out of Denver, Colorado, the Foundation for Asia Pacific Education is a non-profit organization whose mission is “to create global citizens and leaders by assisting students in achieving their personal and professional goals of obtaining cultural and academic experiences within the Asia Pacific region. The Foundation will support this mission by awarding scholarships to help enable students obtain an international experience in the Asia Pacific region. Students who are from underrepresented populations in international education are a priority.”

If you want and are able to make a donation to support the fine work of the Foundation creating future global citizens and leaders please visit here!

Speaking of donations…IHEC Blog readers in and around Westminster, Colorado will be interested in a 5k charity walk/run hosted by
GlobalLinks Learning Abroad scheduled for next Wednesday, August 5th. What’s great about this 5k walk/run is that 100% of all donations go towards scholarships of the Foundation! You can learn more about this opportunity here.

You can keep up to date on the Foundation’s activities by subscribing to their quarterly newsletter and joining them on Facebook by visiting their home page and clicking on the relevant links (you can’t miss them). Additionally, you may also want to follow the Foundation on Twitter @FAPE

You can learn more about the Foundation for Asia Pacific Education

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Some Notes on the International Education/Public Diplomacy Activities of the United States in the Immediate Years Following World War II

Recently I’ve been posting some of my old research notes to IHEC Blog that I think readers will find of interest. To continue that trend I’m posting today about the international education activities of the United States during the immediate years following World War II:

During World War II the Offices of the Secretary of State, Secretary of War and the Provost-Marshal General developed special intellectual diversion programs in the Allied prisoner-of-war camps to re-educate prisoners and provide English language training.
[1] It is estimated that approximately 350,000 German prisoners-of-war participated in the re-education programs and they took what they learned in these programs and from their exposure to America back to Germany where many became teachers and some even returned to the United States while participating in future exchange programs. Upon Germany’s unconditional surrender in May of 1945, officials in the United States Office of Military Government began planning for the re-education of German citizens. In 1947 the United States Office of Military Government in collaboration with the United States Department of State initiated a new foreign policy program that would bring almost 10,000 German citizens to the United States to learn about democratic principles and the American way of life.[2]

One afternoon in late September, 1945 during a routine session of the U.S. Senate, the freshman Senator from Arkansas, J. William Fulbright, introduced legislation sponsoring exchange programs for students and faculty between the United States and foreign countries that was eventually signed into law by President Harry S. Truman on August 1, 1946. Senator Fulbright proposed to fund these exchanges through the sale of surplus United States property (primarily from the military) to allies and other countries at the conclusion of World War II. Senator Fulbright proposed a Bill to amend the Surplus Property Act of 1944 to designate the Department of State as the disposal agency for surplus property outside the United States, its territories and possessions, and for other purposes.[3] The first participants in the program from the United States received funding to study in the 38 countries that received money and/or equipment as a result of the Lend-Lease Act of 1941. Additionally, students from these 38 Lend-Lease countries received Fulbright Program funding to study in the United States. Fulbright stated that “it is…fair to say that the Exchange Program is an instrument of foreign policy, not just for the Untied States, [but] for all participating nations.”[4] The Fulbright Act of 1946 set in motion a great history of international education exchange between the United States and the rest of the world and a continuation of the United States use of soft power.

In 1948 the United States Congress passed The U.S. Information and Educational Exchange Act.
[5] In addition to bringing the Voice of America[6] and other operations under the Office of International Information of the U.S. Department of State, The U.S. Information and Educational Exchange Act was established to promote better understanding of the United States among the peoples of the world and to strengthen cooperative international relations. The U.S. Information and Educational Exchange Act also expanded the Fulbright program to include countries other than those Lend-Lease countries originally specified in the original Fulbright Act of 1946 and facilitated the establishment of bi-national centers around the world to coordinate the exchanges between countries. Ultimately, the impact of The U.S. Information and Educational Exchange Act on U.S higher education was minimal; however, expanding the number of participating countries in the Fulbright Program beyond the Lend-Lease countries only two years later was an important development of the program.

This short historical piece is in many ways a continuation of a previous IHEC Blog post from last December entitled “First Public Diplomacy Effort of the United States?” You can read that blog post here.

[1] Cummins E. Speakman, Jr. International Exchange in Education, (New York: The Center for Applied Research in Education, Inc., 1966), 16-17.
[2] James F. Trent, A Brief History of the German-American Fulbright Program, 1952-2002 (German-American Fulbright Commission, date unknown), 1.
[3] Walter Johnson, and Francis J. Colligan, The Fulbright Program: A History. (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1967).
[4] J. William Fulbright, “The Most Significant and Important Activity I have been Privileged to Engage in During my Years in the Senate,” The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 424 (1976): 2
[5] Also known as The Smith-Mundt Act.
[6] The Voice of America is the official external radio and television broadcasting service of the United States.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

ACT Locally - Attend an August Town Hall Meeting in Support for International Education

This IHEC Blog post is a copy and paste job (with permission) from an e-mail message I received from Kari Lantos, Manager of Grassroots Outreach at NAFSA: Association of International Educators, as I’m registered for NAFSA’s Advocacy Centered Team (ACT).

Mark your calendar and attend a town hall meeting during the summer district work period, August 4 - September 7! Throughout August, members of Congress will be in their home state to meet with constituents and learn more about local issues. This is your opportunity to meet your members of Congress at local events and discuss the significance of international education within your state and district that they represent.

While the idea of approaching your elected officials may seem daunting, it is quite simple (see 10 Strategies below) and extremely important in order to provide further information on the benefits of having international students in your community and sending local students to study abroad. An excellent example of a NAFSA member's participation in a town hall meeting is as follows:

In 2008, Dr. Susan Steen, Director of, International Education at the University of Southern Mississippi, attended a town hall meeting with Senator Roger Wicker. When she had the opportunity to speak to Senator Wicker, she asked a question about his level of support for international education, but more specifically, the Simon Study Abroad bill. She found that not only was he supportive of study abroad but his son was studying in China at that time and both of his daughters had had the opportunity to study abroad. After the town hall meeting, Susan contacted NAFSA to share her feedback from the event. Earlier this year, NAFSA was looking for a Republican Senator to serve as the lead cosponsor on the Simon Study Abroad bill and immediately thought of Senator Wicker. Susan contacted his office on behalf of NAFSA, and reminded his staff of the conversation from last summer. Susan provided information on study abroad statistics along with some anecdotal stories from the state and was able to get Senator Wicker to sign on as the lead Republican cosponsor of the bill. Had Susan not attended this town hall meeting, we would not have known Senator Wicker's level of support and commitment to getting the Simon Study Abroad Act enacted.

When meeting your legislators, you should share personal stories about your international and study abroad students and the life changing experiences they have had, relevant data (such as the
Economic Impact Statements or Study Abroad Participation by State) and positive outcomes in your community as a result of having access to the world through student exchanges. Even better, take an international or study abroad student with you when you attend the event, giving the member of Congress a face to associate with the issue.

If you would like to receive notification of a town hall meeting in your district/state, please register for NAFSA’s Advocacy Centered Team (ACT)

Prepare to attend a local event -- 10 Strategies for Using Congressional Town Hall Meetings to Advance your Legislative Agenda.
(Source: Knowlegis)

Kari Lantos
Manager, Grassroots Outreach
NAFSA: Association of International Educators

Sod photo credit: Dan4th

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The SAGE Handbook of Intercultural Competence

I’m posting today about a forthcoming book that I’mvery excited to purchase and read. The SAGE Handbook of Intercultural Competence is edited by Darla K. Deardorff and will be available in October 2009. I know many of the authors and have worked closely with some on various committees and I have presented with Darla (the editor) at several conferences the past few years.

Following is the Table of Contents that I copied from the SAGE webpage for the book:

Foreword by Derek Bok

1. Conceptualizing Intercultural Competence by Brian Spitzberg, Gabrielle Changnon
2. The Identity Factor in Intercultural Competence by Young Yun Kim
3. The Interculturally Competent Leader by Margaret D. Pusch
4. The Moral Circle in Intercultural Competence: Trust Across Cultures by Gert Jan Hofstede
5. Intercultural Conflict Competence as a Facet of Intercultural Competence Development: Multiple Conceptual Approaches by Stella Ting-Toomey
6. Cultivating Intercultural Competence: A Process Perspective by Janet M. Bennett
7. Developing Globally Competent Citizens: The Contrasting Cases of the United States and Vietnam by Mark A. Ashwill, Duong Thi Hoang Oanh
8. Understanding Africans' Conceptualizations of Intercultural Competence by Peter Ogom Nwosu
9. An Associative Approach to Intercultural Communication Competence in the Arab World by R.S. Zaharna
10. A Chinese Model of Intercultural Leadership Competence by Guo-Ming Chen, Ran An
11. Intercultural Competence in German Discourse by Alois Moismueller, Michael Schonhuth
12. India: A Cross-Cultural Overview of Intercultural Competence by Ranjini Manian, Shobha Naidu
13. Interculturality versus Intercultural Competence in Latin America by Adriana Medina-L├│pez-Portillo & John Sinnigen
14. Synthesizing Conceptualizations of Intercultural Competence: A Summary of Emerging Themes by Darla K. Deardorff

PART II. APPLYING INTERCULTURAL COMPETENCE15. Passing It On: Intercultural Competence in the Training Arena by Craig Storti
16. Leading Global Projects: Bridging the Cultural and Functional-Divide by Robert T. Moran, William E. Youngdahl, Sarah V. Moran
17. Developing the Intercultural Competence of Educators and Their Students: Creating the Blueprints by Kenneth Cushner, Jennifer Mahon
18. The Intercultural Speaker and the Pedagogy of Foreign Language Education by Michael Bryam
19. Cultural Mentoring: International Education Professionals and the Development of Intercultural Competence by R. Michael Paige, Matthew L. Goode
20. Culturally Competent Practice in Social Work by Rowena Fong
21. Global Competence for Engineers by John M. Grandin, Norbert Hedderich
22. Neither Jew nor Gentile: Lessons About Intercultural Competence in Religious Organizations by George Yancey
23. Developing Skills for Interculturally Competent Care by Rohini Anand, Indra Lahiri

24. Methodological Issues in Researching Intercultural Competence by Fons J. R. van de Vijver, Kwok Leung
25. Applying Theory and Research: The Evolution of Intercultural Competence in U.S. Study Abroad by Michael Vande Berg, R. Michael Paige
26. Research Application: Towards a General Framework of Competence for Today's Global Village by Fons Trompenaars, Peter Wooliams
27. Assessing Intercultural Competence: Issues and Tools by Alvino E. Fantini
28. Implementing Intercultural Competence Assessment by Darla K. Deardorff
29. The Real Cost of Intercultural Competence: An Epilogue by Joseph E. Trimble, Paul B. Pedersen, Eduardo S. Rodela

You can purchase The SAGE Handbook of Intercultural Competence here.
Last week I posted to IHEC Blog about a call for proposals for a new project entitled "Innovative Approaches to Training and Talking about Culture" that Darla is working on with her colleague Kate Berardo from Check out that post here.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Interagency Working Group (IAWG) on U.S. Government-Sponsored International Exchanges and Training

During my recent research efforts on international education and public/citizen diplomacy efforts in the United States I came across a very interesting website for the Interagency Working Group (IAWG) on U.S. Government-Sponsored International Exchanges and Training.

The work of the IAWG is not new to me as I have found and perused a few of their annual reports and inventories of programs that I have randomly come across online in the past. However, while the IAWG website might not be new to some IHEC Blog readers it’s new to me and it is a discovery I’m very happy about as I imagine I will consult it frequently during the research for and writing of my dissertation (working title is Towards the Development of a Methodology to Measure Public Diplomacy Outcomes of International Education Programs).

Here is a very brief description of the IAWG copied from their website and a listing of what is currently available on their website:

“The Interagency Working Group (IAWG) on U.S. Government-Sponsored International Exchanges and Training was created in 1998 to make recommendations to the President for improving the coordination, efficiency, and effectiveness of United States Government-sponsored international exchanges and training.”

Available on the website:

- Annual Reports FY 1997 to 2008
- Country Field Studies for Georgia (May 2000), Morocco (May 2000), Thailand (May 2000), Poland (May 1999), South Africa (May 1999) and the Dominican Republic (April 1999)
- Inventories of Programs VY 1997 to 2007
- Regional Reports
- Special Reports
- Public-Private Partnerships which includes several case studies as well as extensive listing of non-governmental partner organizations with external links.

You can access the IAWG website

Friday, July 24, 2009

Confidence in Obama Lifts U.S. Image Around the World - New Report from the Pew Global Attitudes Project

Yesterday, the Pew Global Attitudes Project released a new report entitled Confidence in Obama Lifts U.S. Image Around the World and I thought I’d share with IHEC Blog readers in case this was off your radar. While the report does not seem to address any international education or public/diplomacy issues (based off its title and several key word searches of the document) it provides a very interesting snapshot of the current state of world affairs and demonstrates an opportunity for the United States to increase and establish new international education exchange/study abroad programs across the globe (including countries such as Cuba) as well as other citizen diplomacy efforts to continue to improve the U.S. image around the world. You can access more information and download this new report from the Pew Global Attitudes Project here.

You can also read a previous IHEC Blog post about a similar Pew Global Attitudes Project report here.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Call for Proposals - Innovative Approaches to Training and Talking about Culture has put out a call for proposals looking for the “latest and greatest idea for working with culture” in the form of training activities and creative alternatives for culture concepts. The project editors, Kate Berardo and Darla Deardorff, hope to turn the finished product into a published book. The submission deadline is September 1, 2009. You can learn more about this interesting project and submission procedures here.

UPDATE: The submission deadline has now been extended to December 1, 2009!

While I thought IHEC Blog readers would be very interested in submitting something for publicaiton consideration I also think you will enjoy much of the site in general and I encourage you to check it out when you have the time.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

NAFSA and Seventeen Organizations Send President Obama Letter Urging Removal of Restrictions on Academic Travel to Cuba

Today, NAFSA: Association of International Educators and a diverse coalition of seventeen organizations sent a letter to President Obama urging him to remove current restrictions on academic travel to Cuba. Citing the many benefits of academic exchanges and their history of success in advancing democratic change and strengthening relations between the United States and other countries, the letter suggests that a policy of open academic travel between the United States and Cuba would align well with the President’s interest in expanding opportunities for exchanges between young people around the world. The full list of organizations in the coalition can be found in the official release, but NAFSA has teamed up with Orbitz for its Open Cuba campaign – the petition on their website has garnered more than 50,000 signatures.

You can view NAFSA’s press release here or read the letter here. NAFSA also has a summary up on their blog here. Additionally, here’s the White House blog entry from when they announced the easing of restrictions in April.

You can read previous IHEC Blog posts relating to Cuba here.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Julius Rosenwald Fund

On a recent work related outing to the Spertus Museum in Chicago I learned about Julius Rosenwald and the Fund he created in the early twentieth century to assist young African American scholars and artists in advancing their art and scholarship. Julius Rosenwald was a wealthy Chicago philanthropist who is perhaps best known for helping with the construction of YMCAs for African Americans in Chicago as well as across the United States; for helping to build over 5,000 primary and secondary schools for African Americans in the South; and, for building the Museum of Science and Industry on the South Side of Chicago. You can read a brief abstract on the life and contributions of Julius Rosenwald here.
What I found quite interesting about the Julius Rosenwald Fund, and will also be of interest to IHEC Blog readers, is that several of the African American artists and scholars who were Rosenwald Fellows between 1928 and 1948 (there were hundreds of Rosenwald Fellows) went abroad to study. As I walked through the museum on our guided tour I took some quick notes on a few of the artists whose works were on display and who had studied abroad on stipends from the Julius Rosenwald Fund. Here are just a few:

Augustana Savage (1892-1962) studied in Paris

Katherine Dunham (1909-2006) studied in Haiti, Cuba, Jamaica, Trinidad and Martinique

William Edouard Scott (1884-1964) studied in Haiti

Ronald Joseph (1910-1992) studied in Paris and Peru

Pearl Primus (1919-1994) studied in Liberia, Senegal, Ghana, Angola, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Elizabeth Catlett (1915- ) studied in Mexico

The Spertus Museum currently has on exhibit “A Force for Change: African American Art and the Julius Rosenwald Fund” where several works of art from the artists mentioned above are on display. You can learn more about the “A Force for Change” exhibit here.

Yale President Richard Levin Talks International Education on Charlie Rose

Charlie Rose had a conversation with Richard Levin, President of Yale University, which was aired on July 15th that I found to be very engaging and one I think most IHEC Blog readers would be interested in watching or listening to. Rose and Levin discuss many topics throughout their conversation and what caught my attention was Levin's views on developing students' global perspectives and cross cultural understanding through Yale's presence abroad and international students on campus (begins around the 18:50 minute mark).

Call for Papers on Study Abroad in Neues Curriculum: Journal for Best Practices in Higher Education German Studies

Neues Curriculum has put out a call for papers on study abroad for their third issue. This is an excellent and unique opportunity to get published and to reach a non-study abroad/international education audience (although an audience that is most likely highly informed and supportive of study abroad programs. I have copied and pasted information about this “Study Abroad” issue from the Neues Curriculum website below:

“The traditional German Study Abroad Experience: Junior Year, Vorlesungsverzeichnis, Auslandsamt, Gemeinschaftsk├╝che, and don’t forget the Scheine! But in the 21st century, even more modern approaches face challenges: More students are interested in shorter term programs, have more expectations towards “service” and “comfort”, and perhaps even wish for courses auf Englisch! Preferably electronically.

Issue 3 of Neues Curriculum focuses on best practices and current trends in studying abroad: Innovative short-term programs, better recruiting, new initiatives to combine studying abroad with internships, ways to share resident directors or to do without one and still keep the benefits, solutions that make studying abroad more affordable for the students or more efficient for smaller programs. And, of course and like always, away from home we hope to find the unexpected.

NC solicits best practices from the past and present including traditional programs that have stood the test of time, integrated German Studies programs involving English language classes, and new approaches that seek to integrate into the new Bachelor programs at German Universities.

How did your institution (re)structure its deep immersion experience? Let us know. We plan to start publishing articles (3-20 pages) for this issue on September 1. Later contributions will be published as they arrive, all after peer review.”

You can learn more about this call for papers and submission guidelines here.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Applying Intercultural Concepts to Academic Integrity

…is the title of a chapter written by my colleague Michael Smithee, President of Smithee Associates, for a new book entitled Pedagogy, not Policing: Positive Approaches to Academic Integrity at the University (2009) edited by Tyra Twomey, Holly White, and Ken Sagendorf. In his chapter, Smithee “explores some cultural and behavioral issues related to academic integrity” which are often times left out of the academic literature and discussion on this topic. Smithee’s chapter is a very good read and one I recommend for all faculty to read as well as for administrators who are tasked with the responsibility of working with students on matters related to academic integrity.

You can access Smithee’s chapter here. You can also order entitled Pedagogy, not Policing: Positive Approaches to Academic Integrity at the University from Syracuse University Press here.

Additional information on Michael Smithee and his great work in the field is available here.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Three Recent Reports with Data on Student Mobility

IHEC Blog readers who are interested in international student mobility trends in higher education will find the following three recently published/released reports to be of interest. Please note that much of the data in the reports does not focus on higher education or student mobility across borders.

Trends in Global Higher Education: Tracking an Academic Revolution (Executive Summary)
A Report Prepared for the UNESCO 2009 World Conference on Higher Education
by Philip G. Altbach, Liz Reisberg and Laura E. Rumbley
Download the report

Global Education Digest 2009
Comparing Education Statistics Across the World
By UNESCO Institute for Statistics
Download the report

Wissenschaft weltoffen 2009
Facts and Figures on the International nature of Studies and Research in Germany
by German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)
Access data and other information

Thursday, July 16, 2009

An Australian Medical School in New Orleans - The Changing Landscape in Higher Education

I was alerted to an new and interesting collaboration between Ochsner Health System in Louisiana and the University of Queensland Medical School in Brisbane, Australia from an article entitled “Australians Open U.S. Med School” by Elizabeth Redden on

This agreement is the first of its kind in the United States and one that will serve as a model for future/similar developments we are sure to see in the future. You can learn more about this new program on the University of Queensland School of Medicine website here which includes a video (4:06 minutes) from the press conference led by Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. You can als read the press release and watch the same video on the Ochsner website here.

An interesting note from the press conference that caught my attention was the mention that Alton Ochsner (founder of Ochsner Health System) spent some of his medical school studies in Europe. I discovered that Alton Ochsner held a surgical residencies in the early 1920’s under Professor Paul Clairmont in Zurich and under Professor Victor Schmieden in Frankfurt, for a total of two years. You can learn more about Dr. Alton Ochsner here. Of special note...Alton Ochsner is the person who identified the link between tobacco use and lung cancer!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Has the Recent Violence Against Indian Students in Australia had an Effect on Indian American Students’ Decision to Study Abroad in Australia?

There has been a flurry of news over the past few months about several incidence of violence against Indian students studying in Australia and the effect this has on higher education and the economy in Australia. Specifically, over 70 attacks on Indian students have occurred in Australia over the past year or so and this has sparked outrage in India as well as a swift “zero tolerance” response in Australia. Last week a nine-member delegation from Australia began a nine-day itinerary of India in an effort to mend relations and improve the image of Australia and its higher education system. I have copied and pasted the following from the July 7th Wall Street Journal article “Australians Travel to India to Talk About Student Safety” to highlight the impact these attacks can have on Australia:

“The issue is important for Australia's economy because the education of foreign students has become big business, generating 15.5 billion Australian dollars (US$12.54 billion) in 2008, Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard said in May.

Foreigners now make up 25% of students, up from just under 10% in 1997. Indian students represent about 18% of the 542,000 foreigners studying in Australia, second only to those from China, according to data from the Australian Council for Private Education and Training. The higher-education sector is now Australia's third-largest export earner behind coal and iron ore.

In the state of Victoria, education is the biggest export earner and many of the attacks have occurred in Melbourne, Victoria's capital.”

Those of you who have not been following these developments in Australia may want to do a simple internet search or link to a few articles I have highlighted below:

Australians Travel to India to Talk About Student Safety” from the July 7th The Wall Street Journal

Punjab government seeks data of students studying in Australia” from June 10th The Times of India

Indian Students Claim Epidemic of Racist Violence in Australia” from June 4th

Indian students describe Sydney attacks” from June 3rd issue of ABC News

Indian students unsure about studying in Australia” from May 29th ABC Radio Australia

It should be noted that Australia is not the only country where Indian students as well as others have been attacked or have experienced racism.

In answer to the question “has the recent violence against Indian students in Australia had an effect on Indian American students’ decision to study abroad in Australia?”…I don’t have an answer and I think it would be a bit challenging (but not impossible) to measure. Some immediate thoughts are that most U.S. students are not aware these attacks on Indian students even occurred. Indian American students may be more informed on the situation in India than their peers as it has received significant media attention in India and I’m guessing in Indian media outlets (as well as in the WSJ) here in the United States. As many IHEC Blog readers know, I have a strong research interest in diversifying the U.S. study abroad student profile and I’ve
written about and compiled an annotated bibliography on heritage seeking in a study abroad context. What I don’t know and I need to investigate is “to what level do college and university level students in the U.S. keep up to date on news in countries of their heritage?” I will certainly try to seek answers to this question but if anyone has any leads for me please leave a comment.

Anyway…this question has been floating around in my head the last month or so as I’ve been reading about this situation and I thought I post to IHEC Blog about it.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

International Education and China

I’ve written about China and related topics here on IHEC Blog several times in the past. To blog on international education and public diplomacy and not mention China from time to time would be an oversight. It’s been a very busy several weeks for me and I’m still clearing out my Google Reader and sifting through the numerous Google Alerts I receive. Last night I found 30 minutes spend on these activities and I found several articles related (in part or in whole) to international education and China. Here are a few of the select articles that might be of most interest to IHEC Blog readers:

"Mainland's preferential policies help boost Cross-Straits cultural exchange", experts from the July 13th issue of China View

"Don’t forget China during Indian dilemma" from the July 14th issue of Campus Review (subscription required but good abstract)

Guest column: "Insights from China reinforce call for citizen diplomacy" from the July 8th issue of the Des Moines Register

"Progressive education comes to China" posted July 12th to The Comment Factory

"Chinese-student patriotism in U.S." from the July 14th issue of The Daily Texan

"College abroad becoming a bargain" from the July 7th issue of China Daily
You can link to all previous IHEC Blog posts that touch on China or Chinese students studying abroad here.

Monday, July 13, 2009

A Brief History of Research on Education

Educational research has changed dramatically in both its stated objectives and techniques since the late nineteenth century. From its early beginnings in the ivory towers of many research universities to the present day, educational research has not only undergone a variety of transformations but it has been a topic of significant scholarly, societal and political debate over the years. This brief essay will provide a historical overview of the key transformations educational research has gone through since the late nineteenth century until present day by focusing on important individuals who lead these efforts. It is not an attempt to validate or discredit certain educational scholars or the research approaches they embraced. It will primarily focus on the development of educational research in the United States with particular attention to the University of Chicago.


The study of and research on education traces its roots back to the late 1830’s and early 1840’s with the revival of the common school and it is the first time that both school supervision and planning were influenced by systematic data collection.
[1] These data collection efforts, according to Robert Travers, involved “an examination of the ideas on which education was based, an intellectual crystallization of the function of education in a democracy, and the development of a literature on education that attempted to make available to teachers and educators important new ideas related to education that had emerged in various countries.”[2] Horace Mann and Henry Barnard were early pioneers in educational data collection and in the production and dissemination of educational literature during the mid- to late-nineteenth century. Additionally, they held prominent educational leadership positions by being the first secretaries of educational boards of Massachusetts (Horace Mann) and of Connecticut (Henry Barnard).[3] In many ways, the trends in the early history of educational research were components of the trends in American culture of the time.[4]

The founding of Johns Hopkins University as the first research university in 1876 set the stage for new elite research universities to be founded such as Stanford University and the University of Chicago.
[5] Additionally, the Morrill Act of 1862[6] allowed for the establishment of ‘land-grant’ colleges and universities, many of which would rival the more established elite institutions on the east coast in research and knowledge production, across the United States. As Ellen Condliffe Lagemann points out, research universities quickly became the leaders in creating and disseminating new knowledge, the professionalization of many professions and they became the “spawning grounds” for research on education at the end of the nineteenth century.[7] During this time period, there was a belief that the social world could be “acted on and changed through scientific practices …and that teaching and the social welfare professions embodied scientific analysis and planning.”[8] The restructuring of higher education in the United States from a focus on teaching to a new focus that included both teaching and research activities lead to new schools of thought and approaches to science. Professors at universities were now expected to teach and to plan and conduct original research.[9] Numerous pioneers of American education began their work and research in the major research institutions of the day. Perhaps one of the most well known of these scholars was John Dewey, Chair of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Chicago from 1896 to 1904, who introduced a new approach to the study of education and became a leader in pedagogy. Dewey’s experimental Laboratory School was based more on psychology than on behaviorism which had long influenced educational research activities.[10] John Dewey’s progressive education philosophy opposed testing and curriculum tracking and relied more on argument than on scientific research and its evidence.[11] He worked to combine philosophy, psychology and education. Surprisingly, John Dewey never proposed future areas of inquiry or suggested future research directions in his writings and he never published any evidence on the effects his Laboratory School experiment had on children.[12] Dewey’s influence on educational practice outside of his Laboratory School was quite limited and overestimated.[13] Ellen Condliffe Lagemann summed up John Dewey’s legacy on educational research as follows: “to suggest that Dewey had served as something of a cultural icon, alternatively praised and damned by thinkers on both the right and left, might capture his place in the history of education more accurately than to say he was important as a reformer. Certainly, his ideas about a science of education did not create a template for educational study.”[14] In 1904, John Dewey left the University of Chicago for Teachers College at Columbia University where he remained as a professor of Philosophy until his death in 1952.

Within five years of John Dewey’s departure, Charles Judd arrived in 1909 to serve as Chair of the School of Education at the University of Chicago. Charles Judd differed substantially from John Dewey in his approach to educational research. Charles Judd, a psychologist, sought to bring a rigorous and scientific approach to the study of education. Judd was a proponent of the scientific method and worked to integrate it into educational research. This was evidenced by the University of Chicago’s School of Education reorganization into the Department of Education within the Division of the Social Sciences shortly after Judd’s arrival on campus. Judd’s preference for quantitative data collection and analysis and his emphasis on the scientific method, with a particular focus on psychology, was one of the leading schools of thought on educational research during the early decades of the twentieth century.

In 1904, the same year that John Dewey left the University of Chicago for Teachers College at Columbia University, the psychologist Edward Thorndike, also of Teachers College, published An Introduction to the Theory of Mental and Social Measurements which argued for a strong positivistic theoretical approach to educational research. Thorndike held a similar epistemological approach to the study of education to that of Charles Judd at Chicago. Thorndike favored the separation of philosophy and psychology. He did not care for the collection of data for census purposes but rather the production of statistics and precise measurements that could be analyzed. Thorndike became a very influential educational scholar and his approach to educational research was widely accepted and adopted across academia both in the United States and abroad.
[15] What Ellen Condliffe Lagemann describes as “Edward Thorndike’s triumph and John Dewey’s defeat” was critical to the field and to attempts to define an educational science.[16]


The inter-war years were a time of transformation in educational research. By 1915, the study of education had been established at the university level with 300 of the 600 institutions of higher education in the United States offering courses on education. This time period also experienced an increase at the doctoral level of study which saw enrollments higher than any other discipline other than chemistry.
[17] While faculty at institutions such as Harvard, Teachers College and the University of Chicago, which had dominated the educational research landscape decades earlier, continued to make significant contributions to the study of education, there were scholars at many other institutions making additional valuable contributions to educational research scholarship. At the conclusion of World War I the focus on educational reform in the United States began to change to a more social control and efficiency and there was an opportunity for many educationists to provide guidance to public schools in the United States.[18] Disagreement among educational research scholars persisted during this time period and there was little consensus on the aims of education. With the population of the United States growing rapidly and the demographic make-up of its people changing due to the arrival of immigrants from across the globe coupled with the migration of African Americans from rural areas and the Southern states to the urban cities in the Northeast and Midwest the student bodies at public schools were diversifying at a rapid pace. The arrival of new immigrants to the United States coincided with the “testing movement” that emerged during World War I when the United States Army was testing its recruits. The most prominent psychologists of the time, including Edward Thorndike, were either involved with or supported the Army’s testing. The testing movement attracted both psychologists and sociologists alike and it was the sociologists, primarily in the Department of Sociology at the University of Chicago, who challenged and actively researched the racial differences in intelligence quotients. Otto Klineberg from Columbia University also played a leading role in studying racial and cultural differences in intelligence quotients and their measures.


Educational research continued to flourish in the years and decades after World War II ended. During this time period, the growth in schools of education and in the number of courses on education at institutions of higher education continued to rise. Additionally, more academic journals with a focus on educational issues emerge as a means to disseminate new knowledge. These exciting changes in educational scholarship were not confined to the ivory towers in the United States. Even as Europe was rebuilding, the study of education across the continent was on the rise and in the United Kingdom, for example, the rise of professional graduate degrees in education was significant.
[19] Scholarly debates on the aims of education as well as epistemological discourse persisted.

In the decades after World War II, and in particular at the start of the 1960’s, a post-positivist movement in educational research starts taking shape.
[20] While positivistic approaches to educational research continued to be put forth during the post-war years and continued to be favored by many social scientists, we start to see the introduction of, and in some case the reemergence of, other epistemological approaches.[21] Constructivism, functionalism and postmodernism theoretical frameworks, among others, have offered strong criticisms of positivism.[22] Vigorous debates on the virtues of the various theoretical perspectives about knowledge, science and methodologies have played a very important role in educational research. Frequently, these critical discussions and analyses have found both a platform and a captive audience in the field of comparative education. These philosophical debates continue today both in and outside of academia.

The United States federal government also began to take a much more active role in educational research in the post-war years. Specifically, in 1954, the United States Congress passed the Cooperative Research Act. The Cooperative Research Act was passed as a means for the federal government to take a more active role in advancing and funding research on education in academia.
[23] Additional legislation and federal initiatives during the 1950’s and 1960’s that supported and/or funded educational research and provided a means for the dissemination of new educational knowledge included the National Defense Education Act of 1958 and the establishment of the Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC) in 1966. These are but a few of the many examples of the new role the federal government was playing in educational research during this time period. To be sure, the federal government has continued to play a significant role in educational research since this time period. Since the 1970’s, according to Robert Travers, “virtually every bill authorizing particular educational programs has included a requirement that the particular program be evaluated to determine whether the program was worth the money spent upon it.”[24] For a long period of time, public focus on education and schools focused on resource allocation, student access, and the content of the curriculum and paid relatively little attention to results.[25] This new “evidenced-based movement”[26] is one that remains with us today. Patti Lather describes the evidenced-based movement as “governmental incursion into legislating scientific method in the real of educational research” and that the federal government’s focus on evidence-based knowledge is much more about policy for science than it is about science for policy.[27] The federal government has a vested interest in and support for “applied research” over “basic or pure research”. This, of course, is challenging for social scientists and educational researchers who are positivist in their approach to science and knowledge.[28]

A distinctive form of research emerged from the new assessment or evaluation movement in recent decades. Educational assessment, in many ways, is a form of “action research”.
[29] Action research does not aim to produce new knowledge. Instead, action research aims to improve practice and in the context of education it aims to improve the educational practice of teachers.[30] Action research, as Richard Pring points out, “might be supported and funded with a view to knowing the most effective ways of attaining particular goals – goals or targets set by government or others external to the transaction which takes place between teacher and learner.”[31] Action research proponents, Yvonna Lincoln and Egon Guba, highlight that “the call for action…differentiates between positivist and postmodern criticalist theorists.”[32]
A new and interesting approach to educational research can be found today at the University of Chicago. The Department of Education at the University of Chicago was closed in 1997 to much surprise around the world. Despite the closing of the Department of Education, a sprinkling of educational research activities by faculty and available education course offerings can be found in a variety of academic departments and professional schools. In addition, the University of Chicago has also operated the North Kenwood/Oakland Charter School under the Center for Urban School Improvement since 1998. Campus interest in urban schools and educational research led to the creation of a new Committee on Education in 2005, with a home in the Division of the Social Sciences, chaired by Stephen Radenbusch who joined the faculty in the Department of Sociology and whom the University lured from the School of Education at the University of Michigan. The University of Chicago Chronicle highlighted the arrival of Stephen Radenbusch and noted that the Committee on Education “will bring together distinguished faculty from several departments and schools considered to be among the best in the world into common research projects, seminars and training programs. The committee will engage faculty and graduate students from such areas as public policy, sociology, social service administration, economics, business, mathematics and the sciences to collaborate on the most critical issues affecting urban schools.”[33] The interdisciplinary focus of Chicago’s Committee on Education and its Urban Education Initiative plans to create a “Chicago Model” for urban schools that will “draw on and test the best ideas about teaching, learning, school organization, school governance, teacher preparation, and social service provision.”[34] While interdisciplinary research and collaboration is no stranger to the University of Chicago, it is a new and innovative approach to the study of education. The Committee on Education at the University of Chicago is highly quantitatively driven and data focused.[35] If this interdisciplinary approach to educational research is successful and is modeled by other institutions of higher education, both in the United States and abroad, it will be interesting to see if a positivistic approach similar to that found at Chicago is followed or if a more relativistic approach is pursued. Either way, interdisciplinary collaboration may very well be the next chapter in the history of educational research.


From its inception, educational research has been a subject of debate. Educational research has grown significantly over time and the variety of theoretical approaches that have been implemented in the research has diversified greatly over time. This essay identified many, but certainly not all, of the key transformations in educational research from the late nineteenth century to present day. Also, this essay is not an attempt to recommend one theoretical approach over another in the study and research of education. Rather, it is an attempt to provide a brief history of the types of educational research efforts and to highlight the epistemological debates that have occurred during this time period.


Bowen, J. 1981. A History of Western Education; Volume III: The Modern West. London: Methuen.

Cohen, D.K, and C.A. Barnes. 1999. “Research and the Purposes of Education,” in Issues in Educational Research: Problems and Possibilities, ed. E.C. Lagemann and L.S. Shulman, 17-41. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.

Committee on Education. 2008. The Role of the Committee on Education. Chicago:
The Committee on Education, University of Chicago.

Fuchs, E. 2004. Educational Sciences, Morality and Politics: International Educational Congresses in the early twentieth Century. Pedagogica Historica 40, no. 5: 757 784.

Greenwood, D.J., and M. Levin. 2003. “Reconstructing the Relationships between Universities and Society through Action Research” in The Landscape of Qualitative Research: Theories and Issues, 2nd ed., ed. Norman K. Denzin and
Yvonna S. Lincoln, 131-166. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.

Hamilton, D. 2002. ‘Noisy Fallible and Biased Though it be” (On the Vagaries of Educational Research). British Journal of Educational Studies 50, no. 1: 144 164.

Harms, W. 2005. “Radenbusch to Chair New Committee on Education,” The University of Chicago Chronicle. May 26.

Hofstetter, R. and B. Schneuwly. 2004. Introduction Educational Sciences in Dynamic and Hybrid Institutionalization. Pedagogica Historia 40, no. 5: 569-589.

Kliebard, H.M. 1986. The Struggle for the American Curriculum, 1893-1958. Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

Lagemann, E.C. 2000. An Elusive Science: The Troubling History of Education Research. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Lather, P. 2004. Scientific Research in Education: A Critical Perspective. British Educational Research Journal 30, no. 6: 759-772.

Lincoln, Y.S., and E.G. Guba. 2003. “Paradigmatic Controversies, Contradictions, and Emerging Confluences” in The Landscape of Qualitative Research: Theories and Issues, 2nd ed., ed. Norman K. Denzin and Yvonna S. Lincoln, 253-291. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.

Popkewitz, T.S. 1998. The Culture of Redemption and the Administration of Freedom as Research. Review of Educational Research 68, no. 1: 1-34.

Pring, R. 2000. Philosophy of Educational Research, 2nd ed. New York: Continuum.

Suskie, L. 2004. Assessing Student Learning: A Common Sense Guide. Bolton, MA: Anker Publishing Company, Inc.

Travers, R.M.W. 1983. How Research Has Changed American Schools: A History from 1840 to the Present. Kalamazoo, MI: Mythos Press.


[1] Travers, R.M.W. How Research Has Changed American Schools: A History from 1840 to the Present. Kalamazoo, MI: Mythos Press, 1983), 7.
[2] Ibid, 7-8.
[3] Bowen, J. A History of Western Education; Volume III: The Modern West. (London: Methuen, 1981), 360.
[4] Ibib, 21.
[5] Both Stanford and The University of Chicago were founded in 1891.
[6] The Morrill Act of 1862 is sometimes referred to as the Morrill Land Grant College Act .
[7] Lagemann, E.C. An Elusive Science: The Troubling History of Education Research. (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2000), 9; Hofstetter, R. and B. Schneuwly. Introduction Educational Sciences in Dynamic and Hybrid Institutionalization. (Pedagogica Historia 40, no. 5, 2004), 571.
[8] Popkewitz, T.S. The Culture of Redemption and the Administration of Freedom as Research. (Review of Educational Research 68, no. 1, 1998), 4-5.
[9] Lagemann, 19.
[10] Ibid, 21.
[11] Cohen, D.K, and C.A. Barnes. “Research and the Purposes of Education,” in Issues in Educational Research: Problems and Possibilities, ed. E.C. Lageman and L.S. Shulman. (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1999), 19.
[12] Ibid, 20.
[13] Kliebard, H.M. The Struggle for the American Curriculum, 1893-1958. Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1986), 31.
[14] Lagemann, 42.
[15] Fuchs, E. Educational Sciences, Morality and Politics: International Educational Congresses in the early twentieth Century. Pedagogica Historica 40, no. 5, 2004, 773; Lagemann, 42.
[16] Lagemann, 22.
[17] Ibid, 20 and 103.
[18] Ibid, 20; Travers, 351.
[19] Hamilton, D. ‘Noisy Fallible and Biased Though it be” (On the Vagaries of Educational Research). British Journal of Educational Studies 50, no. 1, 2002, 145.
[20] Ibid, 160.
[21] Ibid, 159-160.
[22] Pring, R. Philosophy of Educational Research, 2nd ed. (New York: Continuum, 2000), 90; Greenwood, D.J., and M. Levin. “Reconstructing the Relationships Between Universities and Society Through Action Research” in The Landscape of Qualitative Research: Theories and Issues, 2nd ed., ed. Norman K. Denzin and Yvonna S. Lincoln, (Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2003) 143-144.
[23] Lagemann, 184-186; Travers, 532-534.
[24] Travers, 539.
[25] Cohen, D.K, and C.A. Barnes. “Research and the Purposes of Education,” in Issues in Educational Research: Problems and Possibilities, ed. E.C. Lagemann and L.S. Shulman, (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1999), 29
[26] The “evidence-based movement” is also sometimes referred to as the “accountability movement” or the “evaluation movement”.
[27] Lather, P. "Scientific Research in Education: A Critical Perspective". British Educational Research Journal 30, no. 6, 2004), 759.
[28] Greenwood and Levin, 145.
[29] Suskie, L. Assessing Student Learning: A Common Sense Guide. (Bolton, MA: Anker Publishing Company, Inc., 2004), 8.
[30] Pring, 133-136.
[31] Ibid.
[32] Lincoln, Y.S., and E.G. Guba. “Paradigmatic Controversies, Contradictions, and Emerging Confluences” in The Landscape of Qualitative Research: Theories and Issues, 2nd ed., ed. Norman K. Denzin and Yvonna S. Lincoln, (Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2003), 268.
[33] Harms, W. 2005. “Radenbusch to Chair New Committee on Education,” The University of Chicago Chronicle. May 26.
[34] Committee on Education. 2008. The Role of the Committee on Education. Chicago: The Committee on Education, University of Chicago.
[35] Stephen Radenbusch is known as quantitative methodologist and he is an expert on hierarchical linear models.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Growth of Research on U.S. Students Abroad

One of my main interests/activities in the field of international education has been compiling annotated bibliographies on a variety of topics and primarily on U.S. students studying abroad. All of my bibliographies are available on my consulting website here. Five years ago I decided to count and chart the number of research based articles, reports, books and presentations per decade found on the three main annotated bibliographies focusing on research on U.S. students abroad which you can access here. The following chart shows the steady increase in research based literature on U.S. students abroad from 1950 through 2003.

I’m slowly working on updates to my bibliography work in this area as well as creating new bibliographies including one on international education and public diplomacy/soft power. I’m also researching and searching for more international education literature from the late 1800’s up to the start of World War II. I’m finding some very interesting pieces from this time period and it is largely unknown to both colleagues and researchers in the field that I communicate with. Additionally, I believe that there are still many pieces of literature from the 1950’s and 1960’s (and possibly into the 1970’s) that are waiting to be discovered. I plan to eventually update the chart above as I discover new resources but it will be in several years. For now, I stand by my review and count as documented in the chart above!

On a related note…back on July 24, 2008 I posted to IHEC Blog on what I believe to be the first research study on outcomes of study abroad conducted by Roxana Holden and published in 1934. Holden analyzed statistics and statements from alumni participants of the first ten years of the Junior Year Abroad programs. You can read more of my post entitled “First Research Study on Outcomes of Study Abroad” here.

If anyone knows of any older research or avenues I should pursue in my quest to locate historical literature on international education please contact me...I want to hear from you!

[1] Data for the chart was compiled from a review of the three main research bibliographies on study abroad (U.S. students). Weaver, Henry D. (Ed.). Research on U.S. Students Abroad: A Bibliography with Abstracts. (Council on International Educational Exchange; Education Abroad Program, University of California; Institute of International Education; and National Association of Foreign Student Affairs, 1989); Chao, Maureen. (Ed.) Research on U.S. Students Abroad, Volume II, A Bibliography with Abstracts 1989–2000. (NAFSA: Association of International Educators/SECUSSA (Section on U.S. Students Abroad) 2001); and, Comp, David. (Ed.). Research on U.S. Students Abroad, Volume III, 2001 to 2003 with Updates to the 1989 and Volume II Editions. (Loyola Marymount University, 2005).
[2] The 2000-2003 total includes research identified through May, 2003. A conservative estimate is that by the end of 2009 there may well be over 1,000 research-based articles, reports, books and presentations on U.S. study abroad.