Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Educational Leadership

Major Professor

Elizabeth Shaunessy-Dedrick, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Howard Johnston, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jody McBrien, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Sarah Ann van Ingen Lauer, Ph.D.


Egypt, Evaluation, Innovation, STEM


In a 2008 working paper published by the U.S. Agency for International Development, the authors lamented that, despite billions of dollars in investment in global education initiatives, access to education had been improved in targeted areas, but the return on investment with regards to learning outcomes was “much less impressive” (Gillies & Jester Quijada, 2008). From 2012-2017, USAID engaged in the Egypt STEM Schools Project (ESSP) along with four partner organizations with the goal of building model science and mathematics public schools that would challenge the educational status quo by providing students with hands-on, constructivist learning and providing an alternative route for demonstrating mastery other than the national standardized exam. A review of the literature seems to indicate that there is little research on the effectiveness of the approaches utilized by USAID and its partners on student achievement in developing countries and whether or not they are sustainable. What is known is that there is a myriad of variables, from educational methodologies to the political environment, that influence learning outcomes even if those outcomes are not accurately measured. In 2000, the United Nations issued Education For All (EFA) goals that included not only increased access to learning at both the primary and secondary levels, but also called for improvements in the quality of that learning. This narrative inquiry aims to explore if the Egypt STEM Schools Project has successfully met the goals outlined in the 2015 Monitoring Report Education for All, the more updated EFA 2030 goals, and what lessons can be applied beyond it as told by those directly impacted.