International Education

International Education

International Education

Wednesdays 1-4 PM Instructor: D. R. Evans() Office: 102 Montague House


The goals of the course are:

  • To understand the nature of policies, the policy cycle, the process of policy implementation
  • Study and practice using a series of policy analysis tools for specific examples of policy
  • Understand the key methods of policy evaluation and policy reform Understand the evolution and current format of the architecture of the global aid community and specifically aid to education.
  • Understand the mechanisms of aid to education and the challenges of countries seeking such assistance.
  • Use this understanding to examine a challenging current policy issue


During the course participants will:

•Study models of the policy process and understand policy formulation in the context of developing and transitional countries;

•Study and apply specific tools of policyanalysis: policy characteristics, stakeholder analysispolitical and institutional mapping, policy evaluation, managing the policy process;

•Study the main mechanisms used by international and bi-lateral organizations for implementation of education policies: shifting from MDGs to SDGs, Global Partnership for Education, the new globalEducation First Initiative, etc.

•Examine the contradictions between political, technical and ethical perspectives for analysis of policy choices for pressing educational issues.

The course will be organized into the following parts:

  • Policy Characteristics & the Policy Cycle
  • Learning and applying selected tools of Policy Analysis
  • Monitoring and evaluation of education policy
  • Evolution and current architecture of international aid structures.
  • Current policy challenges related to crisis and conflict
  • Choosing and analyzing a current policy issue in a particular context

The first part will provide a theoretical framework and a set of analytic tools for looking at policies. The next two components will describe the current architecture for aid, particularly aid to education, and the major players controlling the development education discourse. It will also analyze the mechanisms by which countries can access aid to education. The final section will provide the opportunity to integrate the first two components and apply them to a specific policy and context.


•Regular attendance and active participation in class

Readings as assigned weekly

•Fourwritten exercises – see Course Table for due dates

•Individual Presentation: analysis of a particularinternational agency policy mechanism

•Final Paper – analyzing a current policy issue from various perspectives using the tools of analysis learned in the class. (15-20 pp.)


This course is being offered on a Pass/Fail basis with a letter grade option. Any student wishing a letter grade must submit a written request for that option by the fourth class meeting.


Required Texts

The required text can be purchased through Amazon at UMass or online directly.

Brinkerhoff, D. & Crosby, B. (2002). Managing policy reform: Concepts and tools for decision-makers in developing and transitioning countries. Bloomfield, CT.: Kumarian Press, Inc.


All readings except for the text book will be on Moodle. Moodle will also provide linkages to important web sites and a means of communication during the course. Students should expect to check Moodle regularly for updated information, additional resources and new instructions. .

If you have a documented disability that requires an accommodation, please notify me within the first two weeks of the semester so that we may make appropriate arrangements.

Academic Honesty

The integrity of the academic enterprise of any institution of higher education requires honesty in scholarship and research. Academic honesty is therefore required of all students at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Academic dishonesty (cheating, fabrication, plagiarism, facilitating dishonesty) is prohibited in all programs of the University.


There is a Course Table in addition to the syllabus which outlines each class by date with topics, class activities, readings and due dates for assigned exercises and papers. The Table will be periodically revised as the semester progresses – so check Moodle regularly for updates.

Educ 629 SyllabusFall 2016Page -1-