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Education Professor Gets Grant from the Woodrow Wilson International Center

Posted on 2 April 2013 | 11:47 am

College of Charleston Assistant Professor Brian Lanahan will travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina in the fall of 2013 to research how an evolving democratic nation trains its teachers. He is one of just 160 scholars awarded a research grant to conduct independent research on national and/or international issues addressing key public policy challenges. The grant is through the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

“Bosnia and Herzegovina offer an opportunity to examine how teacher education evolves after a shift to democracy after non-democratic government and war,” Lanahan says. “Teachers educate citizens and enable them to have the ability to participate in the democracy. I’ll be looking at the field within the context of massive state-building efforts in a still-divided society by focusing on issues central to successful teacher education in a democracy.”

Lanahan’s subject is “Post-Conflict Education for Democracy – Teacher Education in Bosnia and Herzegovina 1995-2010.” Lanahan will spend September – December 2013 in Bosnia and Herzegovina collecting data.  From January – April 2014 he will work on a book based on his findings at the Wilson Center in Washington, D.C.

“This study’s conceptual framework stems from a variety of sources and is based on the concept of education for democracy, which prepares students to be citizens in a democracy. At the center of education for democracy are the teacher and the teacher education he or she receives. If teachers do not receive sufficient and appropriate training, they will not be able provide an education to prepare students to be citizens in a democracy.”

According to Lanahan, “The study will seek to answer two broad questions: What have been the challenges and successes of teacher education in the postwar period? What strategies and policies have promoted effective teacher education?”

Lanahan will spend his time in Bosnia and Herzegovina conducting interviews, observations of instruction, and analyzing documents. He will conduct interviews in English and with the aide of a native speaker.

Lanahan spent 10 months in Sarajevo on a Fulbright scholarship to research democracy education for early childhood students and education for democracy in post-conflict and emerging democracies.

For more information on Lanahan’s research, contact him via e-mail at lanahanb@cofc.edu.

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