Steven Hite Contributes to Educational Encyclopedia after Unique Experiences with UNESCO/ IIEP

Steven Hite’s experience in educational planning is driven by his dedication to the blending of theory and practice. Hite has committed much of his academic career to field studies aimed at improving the lives of countless individuals in adverse circumstances worldwide. These projects have come in several shapes and sizes, some being BYU-affiliated..

Some of Hite’s research has been done in connection with United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization's (UNESCO) International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP). UNESCO, an agency of the United Nations, was formed in 1945 to promote peace and universal human rights through education, science, and culture. Educational planning became an institutional imperative.

As described in a recent publication by Hite, the IIEP was created when UNESCO recognized a need to expand educational opportunities to developing countries by implementing effective education strategies through training and research. Geopolitical events significantly influence the IIEP’s agenda. The organization adapts its strategies to such international landmarks as post-Cold War democratization in Germany, or the devastating impact of HIV/AIDS in African countries. Hite has taken part in many of the research opportunities presented by similar occurrences.

Hite’s field studies have taken him many places, including Nepal, where he helped design the national educational information system to track and redirect education funding to disadvantaged lower-caste Hindu girls. He also spent time in Nepal improving decentralized educational management and district planning. His field studies take him out of the country for two to three months each year.

Most of Hite’s research focuses on macro-level issues. “Unlike micro-level concerns, the impact of macro-level work is felt across entire systems, resulting from regional/national/global policies that we hope will affect the lives of ten, or even hundreds of thousands of students for the better,” says Hite.

Additionally, Hite is in his third term of service on the UNESCO/IIEP Council of Consultant Fellows, a group comprised of 24 experts from around the world whose contributions to the field of educational planning have been widely recognized. This council meets annually to review research training and publication agendas.

Recently Hite published an entry in the International Encyclopedia of Education. The encyclopedia draws from the work and research of over 1,500 contributors from more than 100 countries. Hite observes that the comprehensive eight-volume set encyclopedia “is representative of a truly global context.” It is much more substantial in size and scope than a traditional single-volume publication, and focuses on the analysis and critique of educational contexts and issues as opposed to the simple description found in most encyclopedias.

Hite’s entry, titled, “UNESCO’s International Institute for Educational Planning,” gives an overview of UNESCO/IIEP’s formation, mission, and accomplishments. After many years of working with the institution, Hite is certainly qualified to publish this information.

30 August 2010