Combining Centre College’s opportunities for undergraduate research and cultivating global citizenship, Brown Fellow Jordan Hale ’18 conducted research in Cuba as part of her self-designed project on education reform in developing countries.
Her trip to Cuba represents the last leg in a project that started a year ago with the help of her faculty mentor Sarah Murray, associate professor of education.
Last January, Hale visited Ghana to understand its struggling education system and the needs of its students. In April, she wrote a paper and presented it at Centre’s Research, Internships and Creative Endeavors (RICE) Symposium.
To add to her understanding of these findings, Hale decided to go to Cuba, a developing country with a successful education system, so she could compare its education system with Ghana’s. She hopes that her time in Cuba will help her construct realistic reforms that will best aid developing countries like Ghana.
For Hale, spending time abroad in the schools she studies represents the most important part of her project. This emphasis on taking part in the global community carries over into her passion for research, as she taught for four weeks in a Ghanaian classroom.
“I really love actually traveling to these places and experiencing their education firsthand,” she said. “It’s one thing reading about something, and a whole other thing to actually experience it and even to participate in it.”
While this comparative project is extensive, Hale shared how she felt confident about designing and conducting her own research project, all thanks to her prior experience on campus.
Additionally, she says her close relationship with Prof. Murray, has helped her over the past year to expand her skills and better manage her project.
After she graduates next year, Hale hopes that she can continue similar projects.
“After I graduate, I would love to conduct more international research, so I can learn more about the world around me and do my best to make it a better place,” she said. “Talking to and interacting with everyday people in these countries has taught me more than I could ever glean from scholarly texts.”
Kathleen Murphy ’18
June 29, 2017