PhD in International Education

Jo Kelcey

Picture of Jo Kelcey


Program: International Education

Research Interests: refugee education, history and politics of the modern Middle East, the relationship between education and collective violence, mixed methods research

Principal Adviser(s): Dana Burde, Carol Anne Spreen, Rene Arcilla

Dissertation Title: Schooling the stateless. The UNRWA Education Programme for Palestine refugees

Research Description/Bio: Jo Kelcey is a third-year doctoral candidate in the International Education program. Her dissertation examines the “UNRWA Education Programme for Palestine Refugees” to understand the possibilities and limitations that face efforts to educate refugees. Using mixed methods to explore the tensions that exist between policy objectives, teacher practices and student outcomes, her research contributes to our understanding of whether and how education interventions can address the complex circumstances that define refugees' lives in exile.

Jo has an undergraduate degree in Economics and French (University of Sheffield, UK) and a Masters degree in Violence, Conflict and Development (SOAS, University of London, UK). Prior to starting her PhD she worked for over ten years on education and child rights programs for organizations including UNESCO, INEE, Save the Children and the World Bank. She has worked in the Middle East, Central America, West Africa, North America and South Asia. She has also taught French and English as a second language. Jo received a PEO International Scholarship (2014 – 2016) and the Shearwater Travel Grant (2015 and 2016) in support of her research. 

Selected Publications and Presentations:

Burde. D, Guven. O, Kelcey. J, Lahmann. H, Al-Abbadi. K (2015). “What Works to Promote Children’s Educational Access, Quality of Learning, and Wellbeing in Crisis-Affected Contexts. Education Rigorous Literature Review”. London, UK: Department for International Development.

Patrinos, H., Abdul Hamid, H., Reyes, J., Kelcey, J., & Diaz Varela, A. (2015). “Learning in the face of adversity: the UNRWA Education Programme for Palestine refugees”. Washington, DC: The World Bank.