Advancing educational change agent leadership in a developing country setting: The Malawi project at North Carolina A&T State University

Paper presented at the International Conference on Education, Research, & Innovation, Madrid, Spain. Conference Proceedings


Beginning in 2007 faculty and students from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University have traveled to Malawi every summer to conduct leadership and service learning research planned and executed in collaboration with change agent leaders on the ground. Our presentation details projects, outcomes, and collaborative knowledge production strategies employed to work with Malawians for sustainable change. 

We aim to develop ethical and collaborative leadership, research, and global citizenship skills in students and faculty as they engage in participatory action research designed to maximize the efforts of Malawian change agents. Typically the knowledge flow in developing nations has been outside-in, as demonstrated in many non-governmental organization (NGO) efforts. Instead, we constantly interrogate our methods to avoid “colonizing” approaches. Of close study within all projects are the “communities of practice” that emerge as U.S.-based researchers join with Malawians to accomplish a set of tangible goals while sharing power. 

Our support for educational innovation in three Primary Schools is situated within a socio-political context of turmoil: an HIV/AIDS epidemic, recurring famines and failure of the country to attain “food sovereignty” (the ability to provide food for people where and when it is needed, as opposed to purchasing food, fertilizers or pesticides from outside), an ongoing struggle for democratic government against a history of corruption, and recent implementation of a universal public education initiative. 

This publication has been peer reviewed.
Publication Type: 
Conference Proceedings
Barber, E.
Erwin, A.
Smith, T.
Worsley, J.
Fox, M.
Saunders, C.
Washington, K.
Hargett, T.
Walker, T.
Bottomley, K.
Moseley, B.
Duren-Winfield, V.
Year of Publication: 
Journal, Book, Magazine or Other Publication Title: 
Paper presented at the International Conference on Education, Research, & Innovation, Madrid, Spain. Conference Proceedings
ICERI2009 Proceedings
ICERI2009 Proceedings
ICERI2009 Proceedings
ICERI2009 Proceedings
Date Published: 
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
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ISSN Number: 
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