From Global Projects To Classroom Practice: The Localization Of Democratic Citizenship Education In Post-Communist Albania

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This dissertation examines the role of key educational actors in Albanian educational reform and democratization following the fall of the communist dictatorship. In the post-communist period, Albanian policy makers increasingly adopted models of education for a democratic, marketbased, global knowledge society. Yet despite a seeming convergence of national and international educational aims, such interventions resulted in a wide variation of results on the ground. My dissertation analyzes these gaps between policy and practice. For a total of 32 months during 2003-2009, I conducted ethnographic fieldwork in Albania, one of the poorest countries of Europe. In a vertical case study, I investigated the changing roles and identities, sources of knowledge, and professional practice of international experts, national education leaders, and teachers as they developed and implemented educational projects for democratic citizenship and the global knowledge economy. I found that although national policy-makers aimed to modernize the Albanian education system by infusing international models into national policies, teachers strategically interpreted and adapted these foreign models to reflect their experience with the political context of schools, their pedagogical and subject knowledge, and their familiar forms of teaching practice. The resulting process of hybrid localization and enactment has significant implications for the outcomes of educational reform in Albania and other democratizing countries. With a more nuanced understanding of the roles, identities, knowledge, and practice of local actors, we can begin to explain why global educational models often fail to be reproduced in particular venues and are instead selectively, strategically, and creatively localized.

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Comparative and International Education; Democratic Citizenship Education; Teachers Work


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Villenas, Sofia A

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Evangelista, Matthew Anthony
Eloundou-Enyegue, Parfait M.

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Ph. D., Education

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Doctor of Philosophy

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Government Document




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dissertation or thesis

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