Doctoral Dissertations at the Center for International Education

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  • Publication
    The Image of the Teacher In Rural Colombia: An Inquiry into Themes, Metaphors, and Implications for Education
    (1995-02-01) Arbab, Haleh
    This dissertation explores the meaning the rural inhabitants of the North of Cauca region in Colombia make of the rural primary school teacher. It examines the themes and metaphors used by rural teachers, community members, and youth to describe the teacher's present image, their perspectives on the possible changes, and the implications of these perceptions for future educational interventions. The themes and metaphors that emerged alluded to two general images. The researcher has named these the portrait of the teacher as a hero and as an ordinary human being. The first, she proposes, is an ideal image that comes from people's collective memory. The second, she attributes to their real life experiences. The heroic image of the teacher is depicted through metaphors such as that of an apostle, a pillar of society, a second parent, and a community catalyst. The real image refers to the short-comings of teachers to fulfill this heroic image. The point of reference for the heroic image is the teacher's archetype that comes from a glorified perception of the past. It contains symbols, archaic images, and motifs that are embedded in people's collective memory. The researcher suggests that the teacher's true image is neither its ideal and heroic image nor its real and descriptive one but an amalgamation of both. She recommends the incorporation of this complex and dual image in teacher training programs. She suggests that, beginning teachers be encouraged to reflect on their own impressions of the teacher figure, to analyze the sources of these perceptions, and to situate their viewpoints in the cultural context in which they are embedded. This process of critical reflection allows teachers to become aware of their own contradictions and prepares them for the complex reality of their profession.
  • Publication
    Training Needs of Village-Level Leaders for Participatory Rural Development: Focus on Sri Lanka
    (1986-09-01) Gajanayake, D. Stanley D.
    People's participation at the grassroots level in development is a major concern of policy-makers, development planners, research workers and practitioners in the field of rural development. The ability and the willingness of the rural people to involve themselves actively in the development process depends on their level of motivation. The village-level leaders can play a central role in the process of motivating and igniting the enthusiasm of the people at the village-level. Strengthening the capabilities of the village-level workers in this respect is one of the crucial challenges faced by practitioners in the field of rural development. The primary purpose of this study is to identify, prioritize and operationalize the training needs of the village-level workers in performing their role effectively as facilitators in involving rural masses in the development programs. The design of the study combines a critical survey of literature, a case study, a needs assessment and an operationalizing process of prioritized needs. The survey of literature incorporates a critical appraisal of concepts of rural development and of people's participation. It also highlights the crucial role of village-level leaders in eliciting people's participation, drawing upon examples from selected development models. The case study inquires into the role of village-level leaders of the Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement in Sri Lanka, a unique example of a participatory rural development effort in the developing world and also evaluates the nature of its training efforts. The needs assessment explores the training needs of the village-level leaders of the Movement. The prioritization process highlights major training needs, and the operationalization process breaks down prioritized needs into more clear dimensions. At the conclusion of the study these major dimensions emerging from the prioritized training needs have been analysed and synthesized to present a general framework for the formulation of training program for village-level leaders. While the study is focused specifically on the Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement of Sri Lanka, the broad framework may be relevant to training programs for other developing countries.
  • Publication
    Dissertation Abstracts 1969-2019
    This is the Seventh Edition of the Dissertation Abstracts of the Center for International Education (CIE). It contains abstracts of all the doctoral dissertations completed by students actively involved in CIE from 1969 through the academic year ending in June 2019. The abstracts in this document reflect research in the fields of Development Education, Nonformal and Adult Education, Literacy, Community Development, and Global Education in both international and domestic contexts. 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 are 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. To locate relevant abstracts search one or more of the indexes and then use the sequence number/s to find the desired abstract/s in the text. The full text of many of the dissertations is 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 ( A new section is included at the end of this document that includes abstracts of students who were affiliated with CIE beginning in 2019. These abstracts are numbered A1, A2, ...etc.