1. Lessons Learned and New Directions for International Research in Education
SESSION TITLE: Launching new international research as a Spencer Post-doc
SESSION LEADER: Amita Chudgar, Assistant Professor in EAD
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Time: 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.
Room: 507 Erickson Hall

Sponsored by the Office of International Studies in Education

Amita Chudgar, Assistant Professor in EAD, economist of education, with experience in India and other developing countries, will discuss the issues and challenges she faces as she launches a new research project for her Spencer Post-doctoral fellowship. These fellowships are highly competitive and prestigious and therefore receiving one creates additional expectations for the post-doc which add to the tenure-stream stresses of a junior professor. Amita, however is already an exceptionally accomplished and dynamic scholar, who already received an IEA award for the best use of IEA data in a journal publication last year, so we can look forward to her many insights into how to deal with the challenges of her new project and increased visibility as a recipient of this Spencer award. Amita describes her new research project as follows:

Title of new project: The impact of contract-teachers on student learning in developing countries: A multi-level, multi-country analysis.

In developing countries, millions of new children are enrolling in schools, propelled by Education for All initiatives. This has led to a severe shortage of school resources, especially teachers. In response to this shortage, many developing countries are compromising the quality of their teacher labor force by hiring underpaid and underprepared teachers on a contract basis. But teacher quality is a crucial determinant of student learning; by compromising the quality of their teachers, these countries may be compromising the quality of their children’s learning. As this type of teacher hiring increasingly becomes a norm in developing countries, it becomes important to ask: How is this reliance on contract-teachers impacting student learning? What local or national responses may be available to mediate these implications? These questions are surprisingly under-researched despite their immediate relevance to education policy in developing countries. My current NAED/Spencer postdoctoral project will address this gap in our knowledge using a unique dataset from eight francophone African countries where significant proportions of teachers are already hired on a contract basis. I will use propensity score matching and hierarchical linear models to analyze variations in policy and practices within and across countries to address these questions.

2.CASID/GenCen Friday Forum Speaker Series
November 12, 2010 / 12:00 noon – 1:00 pm / 201 International Center
African Intellectuals, Nationalism and the Generation Gap: The New Generation of Tanzanian Scholars at a Crossroads
Amy Jamison, Center for Gender in Global Context

In 1985, the University of Dar es Salaam instituted a ten-year hiring freeze in conjunction with the conditions of the World Bank structural adjustment programs adopted by the Tanzanian government. This policy, which coincided directly with Tanzania’s change from African socialism to a more free market economic and political approach, has led to a generational gap between scholars who came into the University in the earlier years and newer scholars who were recruited, trained, and employed after the hiring freeze ended. This presentation will contrast and compare the experiences of these generations of Tanzanian scholars with an eye towards understanding the unique challenges faced by the newest generation who find themselves caught between the remnants of a post-colonial socialist intellectual tradition and an increasingly globalized academy.

3. COGS Council of Graduate Students services
The Council of Graduate Students is the authorized student government on campus representing graduate/professional students at various levels across Michigan State University.
The October Newsletter is attached. Visit the website for information on graduate services including short term loans, conference funding and copy services.Graduate student discounts at the M.A.C health club are featured this month.

COGS is also looking for a Social Media and Outreach Manager for the MSU Entrepreneurial Network ( MSU ENet)
Position Type: Part Time (10hrs/week)
Pay: Starting at $10/hr
Range Start: November 1, 2010
Graduation Date - Range End: May 1, 2013
Job Function: Social Media/Web Manager
Description:The MSU Entrepreneurship Network (MSU ENet) is seeking the services of a graduate student interested in entrepreneurship, community development and networking to enhance the development of the MSU ENetwork. The student will be required to update, manage and promote MSUENET’s website, blog and other social media tools. This position will require approximately 10 hours/week ensuring that the MSUENet is kept up to date in terms of communications and outreach for the network.

  • Experience managing new social media (Twitter, Facebook) and other sources of media and communications venues.
  • Familiarity with basic web programming and development (Wordpress, etc.)
  • Must have great attention to detail, self-starting, organizational skills and engaged or a willingness to engage with the entrepreneurial community.
  • Mastery of smartphone technology.
  • Assist in the communications needs of the MSUENet.
  • Ability to communicate with diverse groups of people/organizations.

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