School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences

Staff Profiles

Professor Pauline Dixon

Professor of International Development and Education

Background

Watch Pauline Dixon on TEDx Glasgow 

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Background

Pauline Dixon is a Professor of International Development and the Co-Director of the Global Challenges Academy. She is Newcastle University's lead for the Global Challenges Summit

She has extensive experience working in Asia and Africa. Her major research interests are the theory of Austrian Economics, spontaneous order in economics, school choice, children's literacy, giftedness and creativity. She also is involved in research that considers interdisciplinary issues around informal settlements including health, gender, water, sanitation and nutrition.

Pauline gained her PhD in 2003 from Newcastle University and has a First Class Honours degree from the Open University. She lectured in economics at the University of Northumbria in both the Business School and Economics departments from 1997 to 2000, before lecturing in international development and education at Newcastle University. She was the Principal Investigator on the Development Frontiers project funded by the ESRC regarding The Identification and Nurturing of High Ability Children in low income areas of Dar Es Salam, Tanzania. She was the Co-investigator on the John Templeton projects from 2003. 

 Pauline has been working recently on the following projects: 

  • ESRC - Identification and Nurturing of High Ability Children in Low Income areas of Dar Es Salaam 2014-2015
  • John Templeton Foundation research - Education in Difficult Places 2011-2013
  • UBS AG - Extending Access to Quality Education for the Underserved 2011-2013
  • DfID - Lagos State Household Poverty and School Choice Research Study.  2012

She has published two books and over 50 articles and chapters. Her book "International Aid and Private Schools for the Poor: Smiles, Miracles and Markets" published by Edward Elgar in 2013 in the UK and US and was named as one of the top 100 books by the Times Literary Supplement. Her new book (2015) edited with Steve Humble and Chris Counihan is the "Handbook of International Development and Education"

Dixon has lectured at Brown University USA and presented on Capitol Hill, USA. She is associated with the London based charity Absolute Return for Kids (ARK) and the European based Geopolitical Information Services. She has been awarded a prestigious Luminary Award from the Free Market Foundation of South Africa. The award identifies and honours individuals making a unique contribution to the advancement of mankind, and was presented in Johannesburg, South Africa in the Autumn 2013.  

Pauline is the PI for the Sustainable Livelihoods Network within the Global Challenge Academy 

Pauline is a member of the Centre for Research on Entrepreneurship, Wealth and Philanthropy (REWP). 

A Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts

A Member of the Peer Review College for the ESRC/UKRI. 

Qualifications

PhD - Newcastle University 
BSc (Hons) First Class - Open University
Diploma in Economics - Open University
Diploma in Music - Open University

Honours and Awards

Awards

The Times Literary Supplement Books of the Year for “International Aid and Private Schools for the Poor: Smiles, Miracles and Markets” Edward Elgar, 29th November 2013.

Luminary Award from the Free Market Foundation of South Africa. The award identifies and honours individuals making a unique contribution to the advancement of mankind. Awarded September 11th 2013 in Johannesburg, South Africa.   

Informal Interests

Home, family and friends. Northumberland, cats, running and India.

Research

Research Interests

Pauline's main area of research is around grassroots development within informal settlements in the developing world.  Comparative analysis as well as carrying out census and survey field work on a large scale in India, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, China, Sierra Leone, South Sudan and Liberia is one of her areas of expertise. Pauline also looks at choice in developing countries and was instrumental in the running of a randomised control trial (RCT) to consider the impact of the implementation of a voucher scheme in a slum in Delhi. This resulted in a longitudinal study lasting five years. Her work focuses on dispelling myths and carrying out research that informs policy initiatives that are based on solutions from the grassroots and poor communities themselves. 

Other Expertise

Other areas of expertise include investigating children's multiple intelligences and creativity in poor areas of Kinondoni, Tanzania. She also considers the cross cultural transferability of different tests. Pauline carries out research concerning the use of phonics in schools in India to improve reading in English. She provided teacher training around the use of phonics in poor areas of India and China. Pauline has produced children's workbooks and teacher lesson plans around a phonics programme to be used in developing contexts.

Past Research

  • ESRC - Development Frontiers - The Identification and Nurturing of High Ability Children in low income areas of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania 2014-2015
  • John Templeton Foundation research - Education in Difficult Places 2011-2013
  • UBS AG - Extending Access to Quality Education for the Underserved 2011-2013
  • DfID - Lagos State Household Poverty and School Choice Research Study.  2012 - 2013
  • Absolute Return for Kids 2010 - ongoing - Aspire and Enable project in Delhi, India. RCT for Education Vouchers. 
  • Orient Global Project 2007-2009
  • John Templeton Project was completed in December 2003- 2005

Future Research

Further research is being carried out to explore choices available for the poorest living in different types of informal settlements around the world including within fragile states.This includes provision of schooling as well as healthcare, water, sanitation, transport and the effects of urbanisation on mental health . Pauline's focus is on the SDGs looking at how communities themselves can shape the achievement of these goals. 

Research Roles

Co-Director Global Challenges Academy

Deputy Director of the Centre for Research on Entrepreneurship, Wealth and Philanthropy (REWP). 

UoA23 Director.

Newcastle Academic Lead "Global Challenges Summit" and the "Sustainable Livelihoods Network"

Postgraduate Supervision

International development and education issues, school and parental choice in fragile states, the use of synthetic phonics in developing countries. Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. 

Esteem Indicators

Top Five Esteem Indicators:

(1) Expert witness called to provide oral and written evidence to the International Development Select Committee on the role of DFID funding and low cost private schools, 21st February 2017, (watch Parliament TV: http://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/7dc4112b-76b7-4fd4-8b5b-8fb8aaf30a5d?in=10:27:55)

(2) TED x Glasgow "Englightenment 2.0" 4th March 2012 "How Private Schools Are Serving The Poorest" (watch TEDx talk at  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzv4nBoXoZc )

(3) Keynote speaker and dinner guest at the University of Arkansas, USA,"School Choice in sub-Saharan Africa: Dispelling Myths" 17th April 2017

(4) Luminary Award from the Free Market Foundation of South Africa. The award identifies and honours individuals making a unique contribution to the advancement of mankind. Awarded September 11th 2013 in Johannesburg South Africa.  

(5) The Times Literary Supplement Books of the Year for “International Aid and Private Schools for the Poor: Smiles, Miracles and Markets” Edward Elgar, 29th November 2013.

Keynote/guest speaker and TV and radio appearances include:

Invited attendee and participant "How to strengthen the quality of learning in education PPPs in sub-Saharan Africa" Roundtable event discussing the financing, structure and running of partnership programmes for quality outcomes, CDC Group, Westminster, London, April 2018 

Invited speaker ARMA Conference (Association of Research Managers and Administrators), Liverpool, "Challenge-led Research - Challenge or Opportunity?" June 2017

Keynote speaker and dinner guest at the University of Arkansas, USA,"School Choice in sub-Saharan Africa: Dispelling Myths" 17th April 2017. 

Invited attendee and participant Dubai "Global Education and Skills Forum" - The Davos of Education where the worlds Teacher Prize is announced. Bringing together leaders form the public, private and social sectors to find solutions which achieve education, equity and employment for all. March 2017. 

Invited as an expert witness to provide oral and written evidence to the International Development Select Committee on the role of DFID funding and low cost private schools, 21st February 2017,

Invited to take part in the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Global Education for All, guest of Mark Williams, MP, Jubilee Room, Palace of Westminster, London November 1st 2016 

THINK conference Institute of Economic Affairs, Royal Geographical Society, Guest Speaker, London, July 2nd 2016 "International Aid and Schooling"

THINK conference Institute of Economic Affairs, Royal Geographical Society, Guest Speaker London July 11th 2015 "Private Schools for the Poor"

ESRC Impact dissemination including talks at Khan Academy, Google, Stanford University and the Hewlett Foundation, California, June 2015 

Kilimandjaro Radio, "60 Minutes Inside" Dixon special guest, 7th June 2015. 

University of Connecticut, Invited speaker by the Neag Center for Creativity, Gifted Education, and Talent Development, Center for Education Policy Analysis and Office of the Dean at the Neag School of Education, and the Office of Global Affairs "Slum Super Stars - Alleviating Poverty in Talented Children in Africa" 21st May 2015. 

After Dinner Speaker, Annual Dinner, Scottish Council of Independent Schools, Edinburgh, 24th April 2014. 

Tom Woods radio show, New York, USA 9th January 2014.

The Times Literary Supplement Books of the Year for “International Aid and Private Schools for the Poor: Smiles, Miracles and Markets” Edward Elgar, 29th November 2013.

Lecture at Uppsala University, Sweden, “Private schools for the poor and implications for Sweden’s education policy – choice, for profit and vouchers” November 19th 2013

Lecture in Riksdagen, the Swedish Parliament: "The significance of the research findings in developing countries for Sweden’s voucher programme, school choice and for profit schooling". November 20th 2013. 

Luminary Award at Free Market Foundation - "Private Schooling to Overcome Poverty" 11th September 2013, Johannesburg, South Africa

CNBC Africa - Beyond Markets with Nozipho Mbajwa - Johannesburg, South Africa 11th September 2013 CNBC Africa 

GIBS and Acumen magazine interview with Bruce Whitfield, Johannesburg, South Africa 12th September 2013 GIBS Interview with Bruce Whitfield

Free Market Foundation of South Africa "Private Schools for the Poor - Smiles, Miracles and Markets" Johannesburg, South Africa 12th September 2013

Advisor for the Waterloo Global Science Initiative (WGSI) Equinox Summit "Learning 2030". Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. September 29th - October 3rd 2013

WGSI - Learning 2030 Waterloo Canada with Mary Taws - The Agenda

Keynote "European Center of Austrian Economics Foundation" and the 9th International Gottfried von Haberler Conference, University of Liechtenstein, Vaduz, May 17, 2013 - "Are the Poor Getting Poorer and the Rich Getting Richer?"

ED talk San Francisco at the "American Education Research Association" Annual Conference, San Francisco, California, USA, 30th April 2013

Keynote at "CADE 2012 Conferencia Anual de Ejucutivos", 26th April 2012, Panama City, Panama with Dr Nicolas Barletta ex Presidente de la Republica de Panama and the President of Peru.

Keynote at the "World Literacy Forum 2012" 2nd April 2012 Oxford University.

Keynote address at "Doda, Brgger, and Jordis" March 2010, Vienna, Austria "Private Schools for the Poor"

Invited speaker, September, 2007, Zurich - The 3rd International Gottfried von Haberler Conference hosted by the European Center of Austrian Economics Foundation - talk entitled "Private Schools for Poor Kids".

Invited speaker, Feb, 2007, Washington DC, USA - Capitol Hill: a talk concerning private schools for the poor in Africa for Capitol Hill staff members.

Invited speaker, Feb, 2007, Williamsburg, Virginia, USA: 2007 Chief of Staff Retreat: Markets and Democracy - The leading bi-partisan, off-the-Hill gathering for senior congressional staff. The Retreat offers participants a chance to explore pioneering economic ideas and interact across party lines.

Guest lecturer - Globalisation and Human Rights weekend seminar, July, 2006, George Mason University, Virginia, USA

Guest Lecturer - Brown University for the seminar on Exploring Liberty: Poverty and Prosperity, July 2006, Providence, Rhode Island, USA.

Liberty Fund conference, Education and Freedom, San Antonio, USA, March 2006

Speaker - 5th Annual Atlas Liberty Forum, April 2005, Miami, Florida – Focus on Latin America: Education Policy in Latin America

Speaker - Independent Schools' Council (ISC) Conference, March 2006, London

Liberty Fund Conference concerning the works of Hernando de Soto, Farfax, Virginia, January 2005.

George Mason University Law School, Mercatus Centre, seminar/presentation, January 12th 2005

Spontaneous Order Conference, George Mason University, organised by Atlas Economic Research Foundation, January 12th – 14th 2005.

Invited Guest speaker – The “Southern Economic Association Conference”, November, 2003, San Antonio, Texas, USA.

Invited Guest speaker – “Private Schools for the Poor” November, 2003, The Heritage Foundation, Washington DC, USA.

Teaching

Undergraduate Teaching

BA (Education)

Modules include

  • EDU1002 - "Introduction to International Development"
  • EDU2008 - "Globalisation and Development"

Postgraduate Teaching

MA (International Development and Education) and MA (International Development and Education with Cross Cultural Communication).

Modules include

  • EDU8214 - "International Development: Theory and Practice"
  • EDU8215 - "Dissertation module"

PhD students looking at areas of research around choice in education, economics of education, accountability and the SDGs. 

DOCTORAL STUDENTS

Completion


Dr. Ahmed Al-Zaidi (2012)

Dr, Christine M Chifamba (2013)

The state of entrepreneurship education in Zimbabwean universities, students’ entrepreneurial intentions and the influencing factors.

Dr. Pi-Yu Kao (2013)

Investigation of the effects of group composition and conference structure on group creativity and individual perceptions of transactional distance in university students

Dr. Olubusola Eshiet (2014)

Synthetic phonics as a tool for improving the reading skills of Nigerian pupils

Dr. Michael Burgess (2016)

The ‘whole of the wall’: a micro-analytic study of informal, computer mediated interaction between children from a marginalised community

Dr. Chris Counihan (2017)

The effects of a peer-mediated synthetic phonics intervention with children from a rural Indian town

Dr. Gopalkrishnan Iyer (2018)

The impact of the Right to Education Act on Schooling in Delhi, India


Current supervisions


Farrah Khan

An Investigation into the Effects and Outcomes of a School Voucher System in Pakistan: Multiple Voices and Perspectives

Rene Koglbauer

Modern Languages

Norah Alqarni

The Nature of Maternal Involvement in Academic Lives During Adolescences

Fathiya Al Rahbi

A comparison of school choice and effectiveness in Muscat, The Sultanate of Oman

Victor Harlow

Schooling in Northumberland prior too and after the 1870 Education Act


Publications