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Elisabeth Lefebvre, M.A. — 2012

Since completing her M.A. in 2012, Elisabeth (Beth) Lefebvre earned her Ph.D. in Comparative and International Development Education at the University of Minnesota, successfully defending her dissertation entitled “‘What was best for a white child need not be the same for a dark child’: Producing the ‘educated African child’ in colonial Uganda’s schools, 1877-1963” in June 2016. Beth’s study drew on several months of archival research conducted in Uganda and the UK to explore the entangled relationship between notions of childhood and schooling in the colonial period, and the implications of this history for contemporary schooling. More broadly, her study aimed to answer the question that guides her research: Who and how do we educate? She is currently a postdoctoral associate for a five-year longitudinal evaluation of youth livelihoods in East Africa, which she started working on as a doctoral student. She is also working on a study of Teach For America corps’ members classroom experiences with a colleague. Beth is on the job market and hopes to find a job as an assistant professor for the coming academic year.

While at the University of Minnesota, Dr. Lefebvre presented her research nationally and internationally at annual conferences of the Comparative and International Education Society and the African Studies Association, and in June 2017 at the bi-annual conference for the Society for the History of Childhood and Youth. She recently gave an invited lecture at a seminar sponsored by the Comparative and International Research Network at the University of Sydney in Australia, and also attended a symposium on Global South childhoods at the University of Sheffield in the UK. In January 2017, Beth co-presents a paper on youth transitions to adulthood in Portugal at a conference on “Global Youth Futures” sponsored by the European Sociological Association. Articles based on her domestic and international research have been published in journals such as the International Journal of Educational Development and Reconsidering Development, and she recently served as a guest editor for a special issue of FIRE [Forum for International Research in Education].

Otherwise, Beth and her husband Roland have enjoyed exploring Minnesota – including trips to the ice caves on Lake Superior and to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. They welcomed their daughter, Rilla, in June 2015.