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Dr Maren Elfert

Senior Lecturer in International Education

Research interests

  • Education

Biography

Dr Maren Elfert worked as a member of the professional staff at the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) in Hamburg for over a decade. In 2011 she moved to Canada to pursue a doctoral degree at the University of British Columbia, which she received in 2016.

From 2017-2018 Dr Elfert spent two years as postdoctoral fellow at the University of Alberta, before joining King’s College London in 2019.

Research

Dr. Elfert's research focuses on global governance of education and the influence of international organisations on educational ideas and policies. Drawing on archival research and interviews, she often takes a historical approach to tracing the influence of international organisations on the evolution of educational concepts, as illustrated by her 2018 book, UNESCO’s utopia of lifelong learning: An intellectual history, which examines how the concept of lifelong learning has evolved in UNESCO from 1945 to the present time. She has also published on the history of the educational work of the OECD and the World Bank. Her research on the history of educational planning in developing countries was funded by a National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation postdoctoral fellowship. 

In the video below, Dr Elfert introduces her research looking at how history determines our way of thinking about education – as shown by the influence of post-WW2 & Cold War educational planning in developing countries that still persists today.

PhD supervision

Dr. Elfert is interested in supervising students who work on topics related to international and comparative education and global governance, in particular the educational work of international organisations and the ideological underpinnings of education from a historical perspective (such as humanistic approaches, economics of education, lifelong learning). She is also interested in policy studies, in particular relating to adult education and lifelong learning.

Teaching

As a teacher Dr Elfert is inspired by humanistic and hermeneutic traditions and radical and critical educators such as Paulo Freire. She aims to create an inclusive atmosphere in which students feel comfortable to engage in stimulating discussions.

Dr Elfert has taught courses in global governance of education, sociology of education, and adult education and work.

At King’s she co-teaches the modules "The Political Economy of Education in a Globalised World", "International and Comparative Education", "Education and International Development", and "Gender, Power and Inequality in Educational Leadership" and contributes to the teaching in a range of modules across MA education programmes in the School of Education, Communication & Society.

Further information

For further information, visit Dr Elfert's research page on PURE.

    Research

    book shelves
    The History of Educational Planning in Developing Countries Through the Lens of the International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP)

    This study traces the history of educational planning in developing countries through the lens of the International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP).

    Project status: Ongoing

    Kings Students Jan 2019-354
    Centre for Public Policy Research (CPPR)

    The Centre for Public Policy Research is an interdisciplinary research centre research developing critical analyses of social change and social in/justice in education and other policy arenas, sectors and contexts to inform national and international policy debate, social activism, and personal, professional and organisational learning.

    International hero 1903x558
    King’s International Education Research Network

    The King’s International Education Research Network explores key areas of international education.

    Events

    26OctGlobal Governance of education book

    The shifting power dynamics in the global governance of education

    Experts will discuss the new book 'Global governance of education: The historical and contemporary entanglements of UNESCO, the OECD and the World Bank'.

    19AprSchool diffa niger

    The power struggle over education in developing countries: the case of the UNESCO-World Bank co-operative program, 1964-1989

    Dr Maren Elfert examines the relationship between the World Bank and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) between the...

    Please note: this event has passed.

    Features

    Meet our SSPP research grant winners

    Find out about some of the research projects underway across the Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy

    books and lights hero 1903

      Research

      book shelves
      The History of Educational Planning in Developing Countries Through the Lens of the International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP)

      This study traces the history of educational planning in developing countries through the lens of the International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP).

      Project status: Ongoing

      Kings Students Jan 2019-354
      Centre for Public Policy Research (CPPR)

      The Centre for Public Policy Research is an interdisciplinary research centre research developing critical analyses of social change and social in/justice in education and other policy arenas, sectors and contexts to inform national and international policy debate, social activism, and personal, professional and organisational learning.

      International hero 1903x558
      King’s International Education Research Network

      The King’s International Education Research Network explores key areas of international education.

      Events

      26OctGlobal Governance of education book

      The shifting power dynamics in the global governance of education

      Experts will discuss the new book 'Global governance of education: The historical and contemporary entanglements of UNESCO, the OECD and the World Bank'.

      19AprSchool diffa niger

      The power struggle over education in developing countries: the case of the UNESCO-World Bank co-operative program, 1964-1989

      Dr Maren Elfert examines the relationship between the World Bank and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) between the...

      Please note: this event has passed.

      Features

      Meet our SSPP research grant winners

      Find out about some of the research projects underway across the Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy

      books and lights hero 1903