College of Education and Human Development

Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development

Joan DeJaeghere

  • Professor

Joan DeJaeghere

Areas of interest

International development policy and practice
Inequality and education
Gender and education
Youths' educational and livelihood transitions
Qualitative longitudinal research on youths' lives


Ph.D., University of Minnesota, 2002, educational policy and administration (CIDE)
M.A., University of Minnesota, 1995, educational psychology: counseling and student personnel psychology
B.A., Drake University, 1990, international relations/spanish



As the oldest daughter of parents who had to leave secondary school due to financial needs, I am committed to concerns related to educational equity and wellbeing. Critical feminist and capabilitarian approaches—because they are concerned with challenging inequities and power relations and promoting justice and wellbeing — are perspectives I use to understand these issues. My work contributes to these bodies of scholarship; for example, I recently completed a grant funded (Aus Aid) research study on minoritized women who had little access to education in Vietnam, and we published a piece on aspirations and empowerment in World Development.

This work also illustrates another one of my commitments: collaborative knowledge production and use. I have worked for more than 15 years with colleagues in Vietnam, co-researching and publishing with them. I have also collaborated with colleagues and CIDE alums in conducting research related to gender equity, youth livelihoods, and life skills in India, Ethiopia, Tanzania, and South Africa. I have learned that the wicked problems we face in education require collaborative research using many approaches and methods. For that reason, I enjoy working with large research teams and using longitudinal mixed methods.

My research and engagement inform all my teaching, and I bring these perspectives and methodologies into my courses. Students experience hands-on research projects in my courses, and I aim to connect them with internships and other opportunities in education and development so they can further advance their interests and skills outside our program.

I welcome students who are interested in:

  • gender and other social inequalities in education
  • using a capabilities approach to questions of equity and wellbeing
  • qualitative longitudinal and mixed methods
  • feminist perspectives on knowledge production and scholarship

Selected Courses Taught

  • 5107 Gender, Education and Development
  • 8101 International Development and Education
  • 8103 Comparative Education
  • 8105 Qualitative Longitudinal Research in Education

Selected Research Projects

  • Gender Responsive Equitable Agriculture and Tourism (GREAT) for ethnic minority women in Vietnam, sponsored by Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and CowaterSogema (2019-2021)
  • Research on Improving Systems of Education (RISE), Vietnam, sponsored by Department for International Development, UK (2016-2022)
  • Evaluation of Life skills Program and Girls’ Progression through Secondary School, Rajasthan, India, sponsored by Department of Labor (2015-19)
  • Learn, Earn and Save Initiative for Youth Livelihoods in East Africa, sponsored by The MasterCard Foundation [co-PI with David Chapman] (2011-2018)

Selected Honors

  • Global Engagement Award, UMN Global Programs and Strategy Alliance (2018)
  • CEHD Excellence in Research Award (2015)
  • Fulbright Scholar, Vietnam (2013)
  • CEHD’s Women’s Philanthropic Circle Leadership Award (2009)
  • Institute of Advanced Studies, University of Minnesota, Faculty Fellow (2009)

Professional Affiliations


Dejaeghere, J. G. (2020). Reconceptualizing Educational Capabilities: A Relational Capability Theory for Redressing Inequalities. Journal of Human Development and Capabilities21(1), 17-35.

DeJaeghere, J. (2019). A capability pedagogy for excluded youth: Fostering recognition and imagining alternative futures. Education, Citizenship and Social Justice. doi:10.1177/1746197919886859.

Bamattre, R., Schowengerdt, B., Nikoi, A., & DeJaeghere, J. (2019). Time matters: the potential and pitfalls of using mixed methods approaches in longitudinal program evaluation. International Journal of Social Research Methodology22(4), 335-349.

DeJaeghere, J., Morris, E. & Bamattre R. (2019). Moving beyond employment and earnings: reframing how youth livelihoods and wellbeing are evaluated in East Africa. Journal of Youth Studies.

Arur, A. & DeJaeghere, J. (2019). Decolonizing a girls’ education program in Brahminical India: A Dalit Bahujan perspective. Gender and Education, 31(4), 490-507, DOI: 10.1080/09540253.2019.1594707

DeJaeghere, J. (2017). Educating entrepreneurial citizens: Neoliberalism and youth livelihoods in Tanzania. Monograph. Madeleine Arnot and Christopher Colclough (Series Eds). Education, Poverty and International Development. London, England: Routledge.

DeJaeghere, J., Josic, J. and McCleary, K. (2016) (Eds.). Education and youth agency: Qualitative studies in global contexts. New York, NY: Springer.

DeJaeghere, J. (2016). Girls’ educational aspirations and agency:  The critical role of imagining alternative futures through schooling in a low-resourced Tanzanian community. Critical Studies in Education. DOI: 10.1080/17508487.2016.1188835

DeJaeghere, J., Pellowski Wiger, N., & Willemsen, L. (2016). Broadening educational outcomes:  Social relations, skills development and employability for youth.  Comparative Education Review

DeJaeghere, J. , Parkes, J., & Unterhalter, E. (2013). Gender justice and education: Theory, policy and practice [Special issue]. International Journal of Educational Development, 33(6), 539-545.

Chisamya, G., DeJaeghere, J., Kendall, N.,  Khan, M.A. (2013). Gender and education for all: Progress and problems in achieving gender equity. [PDF] International Journal of Educational Development.

DeJaeghere, J. & Lee, S. K. (2011). What matters for marginalized girls and boys: A capabilities approach to exploring marginalization and empowerment in Bangladesh. Research in Comparative and International Education [Special issue on Marginalization and Empowerment], 6(1) 27-42.

Updated Septmember 2019