La fin: Part II

IMG_2312I was fortunate to have a great internship placement  both in terms of location and substance. Thankfully, I had a strong and sincere relationship with my supervisor who was invested in ensuring that I had a quality experience and was always open to my critiques. On my last day we completed our 360 evaluation and we went over how my ToR to discuss how it compared to my actual internship experience.  It  was spot on; research, research, and more research with some communications opportunities in between.

We were proud of the work we were able to do together with the rest of the educationIMG_1617 sector.  This includes but not limited to: 5 policy/ information briefs, 3 web articles, a pretty extensive desk review of national policies and education systems for 47 sub-Saharan African countries, 2 funding proposals, 2 cite visits to Course Sainte Marie de Hanne school and University of Chiek Anta Diop (UCAD)and lots of photos and selfies to show for it. But what was even cooler was her sending me frequent emails throughout the day of recommended professors in her network that I should contact because she believes they would be a good fit for my PhD program. Icing on the cake: she gave me the perfect and very thoughtful farewell gift of wooden jigsaw puzzle of the African continent with every country carved to its exact shape.

In the past three days I did a Prezi for my Presentation de fin de stage (end of internship presentation) for the whole education sector as well as an interview report for my supervisor and HR. As I take a final moment to reflect in writing before I board my flight, I remain confident that Africa, more specifically, sub-Saharan Africa will be just fine.  african studentsContrary to the critiques of international development organizations and those who work in them, being in the field really highlighted not only the complexity of challenges in education in the region but the commitment that these workers have to addressing those challenges.  They are asking the right questions and identifying interesting critiques.  I’m looking forward to joining the conversation as I continue with my own academic research.

Merci Sénégal pour tous.  While my last two blogs were titled “la fin” (the end), I’m sure this is only the beginning of my beautiful and long relationship with education research in West Africa.

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Les méthodologies

Over the last few months of my research-based internship, I’ve become convinced how much methodology matters.  The new Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG4, “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”, are asking some very interesting questions about the relevance of education in addressing the changing realities of children and youth around the globe.  However, throughout much of my research and discussions, it’s evident that there still remains a great deal of uncertainty on what are the appropriate methodologies required to really capture the stories of youth in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), and around the world. Continue reading “Les méthodologies”

La vie

Over the last few weeks I’ve encountered a series of unexpected and unfortunate events including a stolen phone and an intense verbal altercation with a taxi driver. Yet in these moments of stress, I’ve experienced some of the highlights of my internship, including learning that my paper “Double liminality: Youth in the post-2015 education development agenda” was accepted to the Anthropology & Education conference at Teacher’s College, Columbia University in October. Continue reading “La vie”

Les stagiaires #BlackLivesMatter

I stopped by the Graine d’Or Bakery on my way to work and grabbed some beignets to share with the other stagiaires (interns) in celebration of Masse Sarr’s  last week of his internship. Without a doubt, the highlight of my experience at UNESCO Dakar is working with these brilliant, hilarious and truly kind individuals. Continue reading “Les stagiaires #BlackLivesMatter”