Professor’s Research Inspires UNESCO Report on Global Education

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A portrait of Donald Baum.
Donald Baum

BYU Professor Donald Baum’s Research is Featured in UNESCO’s 2021 Global Education Monitoring Report

How can governments use education as a tool to lift students out of poverty? That’s what Donald Baum, EdLF alum and current faculty member, is researching at BYU. It’s the same question he studied in 2019 after receiving a UNESCO grant and fellowship position.

Baum has always been interested in global development and education. While earning an undergraduate degree in linguistics, some of his classes, including a few that he took from EdLF professors, were related to education and international development. “I already had an interest in that subject area, but that further sparked that interest, and after taking those classes from Professor Macleans Geo-JaJa, I decided to do a master’s program in the EdLF department.” Baum later earned a PhD in international education policy and administration at the University of Minnesota and eventually returned to the EdLF program as a professor.

The cover of Donald Baum's report.
Cover of report courtesy of Donald Baum

In 2019, Baum was selected as one of three fellows for the first year of UNESCO’s fellowship program. His research focused on private providers for early childhood education. The report studied how private schools can supplement public schooling for low-income and minority populations, especially in areas with struggling public-school programs. Baum approached his research with the idea that replacing all public schools with private schools is neither desirable nor possible, but that certain types of public-private partnerships are especially beneficial. He believes that if educators know which of these partnerships deliver the best results, they can design programs that help the maximum number of students.

According to UNESCO, this research directly informed its 2021 Global Education Monitoring Report. Baum says, “one thing that not everyone realizes about the EdLF department and the programs that we offer is that for at least a couple decades now, there have been professors in the department who specialize in education and international development—trying to understand the role that education plays for the growth of countries, for raising people out of poverty around the world.” We look forward to seeing the continuing impact of Baum’s research on global education and development.

 

Written by Eden Buchert
Contact: Cynthia Glad