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The Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) recently announced the launch of the first issue of the Journal on Education in Emergencies (JEiE). According to the INEE Minimum Standards, Education in Emergency (EiE) is defined as “quality learning opportunities for all ages in situations of crisis, including early childhood development, primary, secondary, non-formal, technical, vocational, higher and adult education”.
Education in Emergency (EiE) is defined as “quality learning opportunities for all ages in situations of crisis, including early childhood development, primary, secondary, non-formal, technical, vocational, higher and adult education”
During the past 15 years the field of EiE experienced an exponential growth, but academic research is still scarce: as Dana Burde underlines in her Editorial Note, “the majority of scholars of peace and conflict studies neglect education in their analyses of conflict”. Through the publication of rigorous quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods research articles and field notes, the scholarly, peer-reviewed JEiE aims to fill these gaps, fostering collaboration between academics and practitioners, and informing policy and practice in the field of EiE.
As reported by the Editor-in-Chief , JEiE specifically aims to:
Stimulate research and debate to build evidence and collective knowledge about EiE;
Promote learning across service-delivery organizations and policy and academic institutions informed by evidence;
Define knowledge gaps and key trends to inform future research;
Publish rigorous scholarly and practitioner work that will set standards for evidence in the field.
JEiE will be published online twice a year, and will be available for free on INEE’s website. The structure of the journal include three main sections:
EiE Research Articles (Section 1): Articles in this section have a clear research design; use an explicit, well-recognized theoretical or conceptual framework; employ rigorous research methods; and contribute to the evidence base and the advancement of knowledge on EiE. Articles that develop new or challenge existing EiE theoretical or conceptual frameworks are also welcome. Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-methods articles are appropriate.
EiE Field Notes (Section 2): Articles in this section demonstrate progress and/or challenges in designing, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating EiE policies and programs. Articles on the development and application of tools and resources for EiE and articles exploring links between EiE and traditional humanitarian sectors are also welcome. Articles in this section typically will be authored by practitioners or practitioner-researcher teams.1
EiE Book Reviews (Section 3): Articles in this section will offer a critical review of a recently published or upcoming book, or of substantial studies, evaluations, meta-analyses, documentaries, or other media, that focus on EiE.
Abstracts from the first issue of the JEiE
“Whether and How?” History Education About Recent and Ongoing Conflict: A Review of Research
This article reviews research on history education that addresses recent or ongoing conflict since 1990. History education is recognized as a key site for constructing identity, transmitting collective memory, and shaping “imagined communities,” which makes its revision or reform a complex and important part of Education in Emergencies work. The article reviews 42 empirical studies from 11 countries, exploring whether recent conflict forms part of national curricula and, where it does, how this teaching is approached. Young people learn about recent conflict in all of the cases reviewed; in the majority, curriculum is one source for this learning, but in some cases the history of recent conflict is taught without curricular guidance or not at all. Where recent conflict is taught, the review finds a reliance on a traditional, collective memory approach to disseminating national narratives, although often in social studies rather than history classrooms. In many cases, these narratives are topdown and ethno-nationalist and rely on devices like mythical past unity and the exceptionalism of conflict. The review concludes by suggesting that actors undertaking a revision or reform of history curriculum attend to recent conflict as an “active past” and offers some promising ideas for approaching such a past in history curricula.
Improving the Quality of School Interactions and Student Well-being: Impacts of One Year of a School-Based Program in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Catalina Torrente, Brian Johnston, Leighann Starkey, Edward Seidman, Anjuli Shivshanker, Nina Weisenhorn, Jeannie Annan, and J. Lawrence Aber
Improving the quality of education for millions of children worldwide has become a global priority. This study presents results from the first experimental evaluation to test the impact of a universal school-based program on (1) the quality of school interactions (i.e., students’ perceptions of the level of support/care and predictability/ cooperation in their school and classrooms), and (2) students’ subjective well-being (i.e., peer victimization and mental health problems). The study took place in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a low-income country affected by decades of conflict. The evaluation employed a cluster-randomized trial, where the unit of randomization was clusters of two to six schools. Included in the analyses were 3,857 students in second through fourth grades, who attended sixty-three schools nested in thirty-nine clusters. After one year of partial implementation, multilevel analyses showed promising but mixed results. The program had a significant positive impact on students’ perceptions of supportive and caring schools and classrooms, but a negative impact on their sense of predictability and cooperation. The program’s average effect on students’ subjective well-being was not statistically significant, but differential impacts were found for various subgroups of students. The paper concludes with a discussion of the implications of the study and future directions for research in this field.
Quality Education for Refugees in Kenya: Pedagogy in Urban Nairobi and Kakuma Refugee Camp Settings
Mary Mendenhall, Sarah Dryden-Peterson, Lesley Bartlett, Caroline Ndirangu, Rosemary Imonje, Daniel Gakunga, Loise Gichuhi, Grace Nyagah, Ursulla Okoth, and Mary Tangelder
This article examines the quality of education available to refugees in Kenya, with a particular focus on instruction. By providing empirical data about instruction in a refugee education context, the article supports anecdotal accounts and strengthens agency-led evaluations. It is based on a qualitative case study research project conducted at eight primary schools, four in Nairobi and four in the Kakuma refugee camp in northwestern Kenya. The article documents the instructional practices used in these schools to demonstrate the centrality of lecture in lesson presentation; teachers’ reliance on factual questions and the lack of open-ended and pupil-initiated questions; limited comprehension checks; and the absence of conceptual learning. Drawing from the perspectives of the teachers who were interviewed, the article argues that quality instructional practices for refugees are constrained by several key factors: limited resources, including low funding, significant overcrowding, and a lack of teaching and learning materials; a lack of pedagogical training and content knowledge; and curriculum and language policies. The article concludes with implications for education policy related to refugee teachers, and the content and structure of teacher training and professional development for these and other teachers working in refugee settings.
Conflict-Sensitive Teacher Education: Viewing EDC’s Experience with the South Sudan Teacher Education Project through a Conflict-Sensitive Lens
Lainie Reisman and Cornelia Janke
Using the USAID-funded South Sudan Teacher Education Project (SSTEP) as a case study, this paper examines the emerging guidance on the design and implementation of teacher education policy and programming in conflict-sensitive environments. We refer in particular to the guidelines and conceptual frameworks provided by the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) in its 2013 “INEE Guidance Note on Conflict Sensitive Education,” and “Minimum Standards for Education,” which were contextualized specifically for South Sudan. These works provide a conflict-sensitive lens through which to view the SSTEP design and implementation.
It is important to note that this is a retroactive analysis. SSTEP, which was implemented by Massachusetts-based Education Development Center (EDC) from 2011 to 2014, was designed and largely implemented before the INEE published its CSE guidance documents. This perspective allows us to review how events actually unfolded, and to speculate whether and how they might have been different had the CSE teacher training guidance been applied. More specifically, it allows us to consider what the outcome might have been had a full and robust conflict analysis been undertaken before initiating SSTEP. This paper is intended primarily for policy makers, practitioners, program designers, and researchers who are working to improve education in fragile and conflict-affected environments.
[Head photo taken from GSK: © Elissa Bogos/Save the Children]
Andrea Pregel is an inclusion professional with experience in disability, development, education, gender and health across Europe and Asia. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Social Research from the University of Turin (Italy), and an Erasmus Mundus MA/Mgr in Special and Inclusive Education from the University of Roehampton in London (UK), the University of Oslo (Norway) and Charles University in Prague (Czech Republic). He is Co-founder and President of the Global Observatory for Inclusion (GLOBI), and works as Programme Advisor for Social Inclusion and Disability at Sightsavers International.