Curriculum rationale


Curriculum rationale 

The Master on Education Policies for Global Development (GLOBED) aims to become an international reference Master in the field of globalization, education and international development. It aims to construct an attractive Masters for students who are either currently working in this field or aim to do so.

GLOBED will constitute a solid and homogeneous training in the area of educational development research and international cooperation activities. The existing offer in Europe in this field is usually part of broader International Development Studies programmes, and is characterised by a single specialisation or disciplinary focus (basically, education sciences) and by a specific regional focus. By joining different Universities and different research teams, the new Masters will bring an interdisciplinary approach to the education and development area of study and will include expertise from all regions of the world.

To achieve this goal, GLOBED’s curriculum design and teaching strategies are grounded on the following rationale.

Theoretical and normative orientation

  1. A focus on social justice and inequality. The key and transversal focus of the Master is the consideration of inequality and social injustices, in relation to education and development. Equity and social justice are fundamental principles in policy making, unfortunately not always included as priorities in mainstream educational policy developments. GLOBED will locate social justice and equity as central aspects of the policy making process, in terms of policy rationales, decision-making and implementation/impact.
  2. The GLOBED study programme will strive to engage with the world as it is, in order to imagine a world as it could and should be. In other words, GLOBED will not ignore the potential normative dimension across all the study units on offer, adopting standpoint theories informed by critical social sciences.. For instance, study units focusing on research methods will move beyond considering research as a technical accomplishment, privileging instead catalytic research and forms of action research that provide tools for social transformation. At the same time, GLOBED will never refuse the analysis of other perspectives that inform policy-making processes and will check all possible political and ideological options.
  3. GLOBED considers globalization as an analytical dimension. This principle has important implications in the field of comparative education. The analysis of educational policies must overcome the three isms that have mainly characterized the study of national education policies (statism, nationalism, educationism). The analysis of education policies and practice will take into account the broader and complex context in which education policies are designed, travel and are implemented.
  4. Building bottom-up approaches regarding the relationship between globalization and education. GLOBED will problematize simple top-down approaches regarding the relationship between globalization and education (as two unproblematic separate entities. Building a bottom-up approach carries at least two methodological implications: 1) the development of a multi-scalar approach. That is, education policies take place at different scales of decision, from the supranational to the local scale. Education policy is recontextualised, negotiated and transformed through those scales. And 2) the study of specific agents and interest groups that interfere in the adoption, translation and implementation of global education policies. This principle includes also the study of local actors and social movements that shape with their action the directions education policy can take.
  5. An interdisciplinary approach to the study of education policy: globalization carries a high degree of complexity and interconnections between the economic, the political and cultural spheres. Trying to grasp these complexities implies unavoidably the development of an interdisciplinary approach. GLOBED integrates different disciplines thanks to the different fields of expertise of the lecturers and the research centers involved in the programme.
  6. Education policy analysis and evaluation will be carried out from a critical perspective. One of the main implications of this principle is the fact that policies and programmes will be studied and assessed as hypotheses that may work or may not depending on contextual factors and the interests and preferences of the agents involved. Instead of assuming expected effects coming from mainstream theories of education and development, GLOBED will critically question what is considered mainstream positivistic views of educational policy and international development and will develop methodological strategies that aim to empirically contrast what works for whom and under which circumstances. This approach necessarily must take into account all possible contextual factors, and in particular the history of institutions and social forces in that context.
  7. From a North-South perspective to a multi-polar understanding of power relations. Globalisation is not only a neoliberal project defined in the North and delivered to the South. Globalisation is today a complex process that departs and takes place in different poles of the world. International economic and political relations are being reorganized and produce a complex network of actors, organisations and processes that alter traditional forms of path dependency. GLOBED challenges unidirectional forms of understanding North-South relationships and employs multi-polar understanding of power in global politics and in the development of education policy worldwide.
  8. European approaches to aid for development will be critically engaged with throughout the course, with special attention given to comparing and contrasting EU policies with those of other countries, economic and political blocs, and international aid agencies from other regions.

Pedagogical issues:

  1. The course gives great importance to fostering an “esprit de corps” among and between lecturers and students. This convivial and collaborative spirit will be fostered and encouraged in a number of ways, including: non-hierarchical relations; strong student representation on the governing boards of the course; opportunities for joint teaching; a large number of core courses that bring all the student group together for sufficiently long periods of time to ensure deeper interaction, while allowing specialization through a smaller number of electives; promoting academic apprenticeship through such initiatives as joint publications and other forms of research dissemination between staff and students.
  2. Students are encouraged to actively co-design learning pathways, thus taking charge of their own learning, in response to their own needs and drawing on the expertise available among both the staff and student body. While study units will be prepared in line with the Bologna Process, whereby learning objectives and learning outcomes are clearly signposted, deeper endorsement of learner-based approaches require programmes to be negotiated with students, while guaranteeing access to the knowledge base that is normally associated with courses on education and development. Some specialization study units will thus be co-designed designed by students and lecturers, and will be adapted to specific individual needs in order to ensure adequate preparation for the research project.
  3. GLOBED lecturers will develop teaching strategies with a strong focus on those competencies required to develop professional work in this field. The need to cover a wide range of professional competencies implies the use of a variety of teaching methods and strategies. These competencies, aligned with those recognized by the EHEA, will be developed in a transversal form in different teaching and learning strategies previously planned. A special focus will be given to the development of communication skills, collaborative work and critical thinking. Skills development will have a key role in the structuring of teaching and learning strategies. A special emphasis in research and academic skills will be given for those students aiming to develop a future PhD thesis in the field. Competencies for developing analytical capacities, and writing skills will be provided.
  4. GLOBED will provide opportunities to students for learning by doing. The structuring and accompaniment of fieldwork experiences and the organization of internships in associate partner institutions will be of paramount importance for the acquisition of the necessary experience and skills to develop quality work in the field of education and international development. Fieldwork and internships guidelines will be produced to maximize the learning experience of the students, and help them to build networks for future career options. Moreover, GLOBED students will have to develop a portfolio of academic and professional activities that will help them to develop writing skills, report presentation strategies or abilities for academic publication.


Summer School 2016