Research on Education in Africa, the Caribbean, and the Middle East

Research in curriculum and instruction in Africa, the Caribbean, and the Middle East has been changing rapidly over the past 25 years. Scholars, practitioners, and students find it difficult to keep abreast of relevant knowledge. Available journals and textbooks generally report international perspectives, making the search for valid materials on specific countries within these regions complex and difficult.

Research on Education in Africa, the Caribbean, and the Middle East will provide a comprehensive view of current and emerging educational knowledge, research strategies, and policy in these regions. Currently unavailable, or difficult to gather, materials from a variety of viewpoints and sources would be presented in a usable and organized format.

Each series volume would present a juried, scholarly, and accessible review of educational research, theory, and/or policy, pre-K-16, in these regions. Topics covered in each volume would be determined by present issues and trends, as well as generative themes related to current research and theory. Published volumes will include empirical studies, policy analysis, literature reviews, and positing of theoretical and conceptual bases.

Call for Chapter Proposals

We invite you to contribute a chapter to Book IX of the Series Research in Education in Africa, Caribbean, and the Middle East to be published by Information Age Publishing in Spring 2022. This proposed book will be tentatively titled Effects of Government Mandates and Policies on Public Education in Africa, the Caribbean, and the Middle East.

As the demand for education at all levels has increased, so have the models of meeting these increased demands for education. Thus, similar to many parts of the world, public education has expanded to serve large populations across the regions of Africa, the Caribbean, and the Middle East. Many nations in these regions have instituted mandates, policies, and frameworks intended to simultaneously increase access to public education opportunities as well as improve the quality of education provided and to address a wide populace. Because the increase in educational demand has occurred at all levels, these efforts often address various levels of education from early childhood through primary schooling, junior secondary and secondary schooling and into tertiary education. Efforts also have been made to increase participation in education by marginalized and/or special populations. The range of efforts is large with some focusing on involving migrants/immigrants/refugees in primary education while others aim at opening up choices at the university level.

Recently, nations in the region have recognized the possibilities of digital learning (online learning) as cell phones and other widely used portable wireless devices have made it possible to sell the idea that one can learn from anywhere at any time. This widespread access to technology has made it possible to governments as well as private entities to expand learning opportunities even to populations previously unreached or to difficult to reach sectors of the population. At the same time, the population itself has not only increased in numbers but in diversity. Maintaining quality through digital and other means of quick expansion of educational opportunities continues to be challenging if not problematic.

We invite educational researchers to propose chapters for Book IX that document, describe and/or raise critical issues and/or questions that have resulted from government policies, mandates and frameworks intended to make available public education to an ever growing populace while at the same time being mindful of improving quality of education being availed to an increasingly diverse populace.

Some General Guidelines for Preparing the Chapters
The overarching question we invite authors to grapple with in each chapter is: “Have educational outcomes improved for targeted learners as a result of efforts to meet increased demands for education?”
Some potential questions specific chapters might examine include the following:

1. Driven by the quest for global relevance, what has been the impact of "educational borrowing or hybriding" in policy mandates by governments in the regions on educational outcomes?

2. How are governments negotiating context-relevant public schooling for young learners?

3. In teacher education, how have mandates guiding learning to teach evolved over time as the public mandate for public education at all levels has been forced to rapidly expand into Higher Education, early childhood education, special education, etc.?

4. How has the public education expansionist impulse evolved in contexts of a strained relationship between governments and institutions of higher education? For instance, with the government straining for control by limiting funding or questioning how are funds used? How might this dynamic effect the resulting outcome?

5. While some educational stakeholders are eager to promote efforts to improve outcomes, others are resistant to change. How are these opposing views playing out in the field and what’s their impact on educational outcomes? Are there local efforts in these regions that have worked and are working?

6. Are there local/indigenous education programs (early childhood etc.) supported by specific government mandates that are providing expected outcomes worthy of modeling? Do such efforts require a research focus if they are to improve and be replicated in other regions? What is the evolution of policies and their practices?

These guiding questions are by no means exhaustive but are just a few conceivably within the purview of this proposed volume. In addressing these questions, be sure your chapter touches on “What has been done?” “What was its purpose?” and “What are the educational outcomes?” Chapters will provide points from which further research and practice might occur.

General Outline for Chapters
Each chapter should be 25 to 30 double spaced pages, including references, using the format required in the latest edition of the APA publication manual. We want each chapter to feature research including suggestions as to how best to promote and advance research and practice in the region under discussion in the chapter. While we anticipate great content variability among chapters given the range of potential foci of individual chapters and while we would like contributors to have needed flexibility in the features of their respective chapters, we are nonetheless offering the following suggestions as a general outline for all chapters as a way to promote some degree of consistency between chapters.

Each chapter should:
(a) include a brief overview of the policy/mandate/framework and its stated intent in improving education outcomes for learners;
(b) address the educational level it targets (e.g., early childhood, primary, secondary, or tertiary)
(c) include diversity components of the learners targeted (disability, rurality, migrancy, religious minority, refugee, girl-child, etc.)
(d) answer the overarching question that this volume grapples with: “Have educational outcomes improved for targeted learners as a result of these efforts?” or, have they?
(e) References

Note: The chapters must be built upon original research by the authors.

We hope you consider this scholarly contribution as an opportunity for you to provide researchers, practitioners and policy-makers with knowledge that will enhance the quality of their scholarship and services to persons with whom they work.

As you know, there are no widespread sources of exemplary research in Africa, the Caribbean and the Middle East. As such, though we have developed a list of distinguished potential contributors for the chapters, we realize that there are persons doing excellent work in these disciplines whom we have not included in this invitation. So, we welcome suggestions from you of others whose work we should consider. Please forward to us their contacts or invite them to serve as co-authors with you.

Knowing that you are very busy, we have established time lines that will hopefully allow you to contribute to this book. Dates and associated tasks are outlined below.

Submit Chapter Proposal to: Dr. Cynthia Szymanski Sunal at


June, 2020: You email response to us on your commitment to write this chapter
September, 2020: Submit a 5-page chapter proposal
December 30, 2020: Our proposal reviews occur
February 1, 2021: First draft of your chapter submitted to us
March-April 2021: Our review of your chapter
May, 2021: Return of your first draft and your final revisions
July 1, 2021: Your final manuscript submitted to us
August, 2021: We submit manuscript to the publisher

We look forward to hearing from you at your earliest opportunity. Please send an e-mail reply to Dr. Cynthia Szymanski Sunal at let us know if you accept our invitation to write the chapter. Thank you for considering our invitation.