Today I completed an intensive, 8-day course in International Education Policy at Lehigh University as part of my doctoral program. The class focused on tools researchers use to analyze policy. In my job as head of school, I deal with policies coming from the international, national and school levels, either implementing or making them. The course gave me a new perspective on the importance of policy in education. It was my first class in the Comparative International Education (CIE) department. From Lehigh University’s website. The class had a good mix of researchers, teachers and NGO employees.
Graduates completing their degree in the CIE program may move into positions as government officials and education policy makers, research/policy institute scientists, development program officers, or work in various non-governmental and educational organizations either in the United States or in countries around the world.
The culminating project for the eight days was a policy analysis. I chose the adoption of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IBDP) by government schools in Japan. The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports and Technology (MEXT) set a goal of 200 local schools to be authorized the IBDP by 2018. I read many reports and looked at data to come up with my recommendations. I am indebted to Dr. Beverly Yamamoto of Osaka University and her work with the IB and MEXT. You can read her full research report. I would also like to thank Dr. Emily Anderson of Centenary University who taught the course and my classmates. You can read my case study analysis below.