International Educator - January/February 2012 - 33

are considered subject matter experts, but have no real-world experience. Even basics in the United States, like drawing up syllabi and lessons plans, are new concepts for many educators. Dirkx goals are to improve the instructional capacity of university educators in the Mekong Delta region and help them shift to a learner-centered paradigm, rather than having the students rely on memorization in order to pass exams. For the project to get off the ground, outside funding is needed because the universities in Vietnam are strapped for cash. To improve the quality of the country’s higher education system, “they need something comprehensive. A workshop here and there isn’t working,” Dirkx says. In the interim, he has proposed to the Vietnamese government that a complete needs assessment be conducted to determine what educators do and don’t know.

In Vietnam, girls may have to drop out of school by sixth grade to work and help pay for their brothers’ education. Boys are viewed as being more of a financial asset to their families, so their education is emphasized.

Like many countries in the developing world, the situation is much harder for girls and women from rural areas, where the priority is typically on educating boys, she says. In Vietnam, girls may have to drop out of school by sixth grade to work and help pay for their brothers’ education. Boys are viewed as being more of a financial asset to their families, so their education is emphasized. Ann Brooks, an adult education professor at Texas State University San Marcos, is working to combat such behavior in Cambodia by helping to develop a book about the possibilities that are open to girls from rural areas. The girls often drop out in middle school because their families want them to work. It’s a particular problem in poor families, where all family members need to contribute economically to make ends meet.

Higher Education not Often Encouraged
One major obstacle in Vietnam is that women aren’t encouraged to pursue advanced education, says Ngoc Lan Thi Dang, who expects to graduate with a PhD from MSU’s Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education (HALE) program in June. While these days more than half the students attending university in Vietnam are women, she says, they typically end their educations after they complete their bachelor’s degree. Their families usually want them to marry as soon as possible, and they believe it’s hard for a woman to find a husband if she is well-educated. Dang was deputy director in the department of international relations at Can Tho University when she headed to the United States in 2007 to work on her PhD. But she says she spent years trying to get permission to study abroad. She had to convince her bosses at the male-dominated university that it would benefit both the university and the community if she continued her studies. When she returns to Vietnam, Dang plans to use the connections she has made through studying in the United States to help connect women from her homeland with women in the West. She also wants to work to improve the status of women and girls in the country.

Sometimes the girls are involved in the sex trade. Other times they go to work at garment factories, or sell goods door to door or at local markets. But other opportunities do exist, and Brooks and is working with faculty and staff at the Royal University in Phnom Penh. They’ve collected the life histories of young women who made their way from the countryside to university, which will be used in the book. In most cases, those who have made it to university have had a relative or teacher who has helped them to succeed, or they’ve received a scholarship to pay for their studies. “Someone in their life championed them in a way that gave them a step up,” Brooks says.

PhOTO COUrTESY OF ANN brOOkS

Pen Vathana, a student working on her Ma in gender and development in thailand, collaborated with Professor ann Brooks on a research project to help cambodian girls pursue education.

J A N + F E B . 12 InternatIonal educator

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International Educator - January/February 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - January/February 2012

International Educator - January/February 2012
Contents
From the Editors
Front Lines
In Brief
Voices: Rollins College President Lewis Duncan
Finding a Home in Higher Education
Promoting Peace Th Rough Partnerships
New York University Becomes a Global Network University
International Education Fairs
Education Abroad
A View From Out Here
In Focus
International Educator - January/February 2012 - International Educator - January/February 2012
International Educator - January/February 2012 - Cover2
International Educator - January/February 2012 - Contents
International Educator - January/February 2012 - From the Editors
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 3
International Educator - January/February 2012 - Front Lines
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 5
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 6
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 7
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 8
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 9
International Educator - January/February 2012 - In Brief
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 11
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 12
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 13
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 14
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 15
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 16
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 17
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 18
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 19
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 20
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 21
International Educator - January/February 2012 - Voices: Rollins College President Lewis Duncan
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 23
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 24
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 25
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 26
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 27
International Educator - January/February 2012 - Finding a Home in Higher Education
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 29
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 30
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 31
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 32
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 33
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 34
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 35
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 36
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 37
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 38
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 39
International Educator - January/February 2012 - Promoting Peace Th Rough Partnerships
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 41
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 42
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 43
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 44
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 45
International Educator - January/February 2012 - New York University Becomes a Global Network University
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 47
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 48
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 49
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 50
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 51
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 52
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 53
International Educator - January/February 2012 - International Education Fairs
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 55
International Educator - January/February 2012 - Education Abroad
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 57
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 58
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 59
International Educator - January/February 2012 - A View From Out Here
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 61
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 62
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 63
International Educator - January/February 2012 - In Focus
International Educator - January/February 2012 - Cover3
International Educator - January/February 2012 - Cover4
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