Seminal research in the slums and shanty towns of Asia and Africa shows not only the numbers of low-cost private schools around the world but why, how and by whom they are run and patronised. Dr. Pauline Dixon looks at parental choice, the comparison between government and low-cost private schools as well as innovative initiatives that are currently underway in India and Ghana such as vouchers and chains of private schools. The talk also considers what the wider world can learn from this market success story.
More About Pauline…
Dr. Pauline Dixon is a senior lecturer in International Development and Education at Newcastle University in the North East of England. She is Research Director of the E.G. West Centre at the university and Degree Programme Director of the Masters in International Development and Education. She lectures in economics, education policy and quantitative methods.
Dr Dixon’s research in India, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, China, and Tunisia, investigates education for the poorest living in slums and shanty towns. She is also researching education in conflict zones focusing on Liberia, South Sudan and Sierra Leone as well as considering the advantages chains of private unaided schools have owing to their economies of scale.
She works as an advisor and external researcher with the English-based international charity Absolute Return for Kids (ARK) in Delhi, India. She has helped to set up an education voucher programme as well as introduce improvements in quality to both government and private schools operating in the slum of Shahdara, East Delhi, through the use of synthetic phonics.
Dr Dixon gained her PhD from Newcastle in 2003 which looked at the regulations private schools in the slums of Hyderabad, India, abide by from an Austrian economic perspective. The thesis described and analysed a case study of private schools catering for low-income families. The research was carried out in order to examine the regulatory regime under which private schools exist.
Dr Dixon was International Research Coordinator on the John Templeton Project from 2003-2005, the Orient Global Project from 2007-2009 and is about to commence research, again funded by the John Templeton Foundation, concerning ‘Education in Difficult Places’ and conflict zones. This project will run until 2013. She is also interested in gifted and talented children living in slum areas in developing countries.
Dr Dixon delivers keynote speeches and presentations around the world including at Capitol Hill, Washington D.C., USA, at Brown University, USA, as well as in Europe including Zurich, Liechtenstein, Durham, Glasgow, London, and Vienna. She has also presented the research findings to government officials in India and Africa. She is considered an expert in her field and has more than 35 publications in academic journals, monographs and book chapters. These include, most recently, more quantitative papers in the Journal of School Choice , School Effectiveness and School Improvement, Oxford Review of Education and Educational Management, Administration and Leadership.
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