Faculty Biography

David I. Bell

David I. Bell, Ed.D.

Professor of the Practice of International Development and Social Change
Department of International Development, Community, and Environment
Clark University
Worcester, MA 01610-1477

Phone: (508) 793-7568 
Email: dbell@clarku.edu

Faculty profile of Professor Bell


Ed.D. in Education Policy Research and Administration and International and Comparative Education, University of Massachusetts (Amherst, MA), 2001
M.Ed. in Education Counselling and Psychology, Rhodes University (Grahamstown, South Africa), 1994
B.A. Honors in Education and Counselling Psychology, University of Port Elizabeth (Nelson Mandela University) (Port Elizabeth, South Africa), 1982
B.Ed. (majors in Geography, Psychology, English and Education), University of Port Elizabeth (Nelson Mandela University) (Port Elizabeth, South Africa), 1981

Professional Practice and Research

Bell is an international and comparative educationalist and psychologist who has worked extensively in Southern Africa in the field of education, empowerment, social transformation and community development. Prior to moving to the United States in 1997, he worked in formal and non-formal education and in a range of community empowerment projects and has taught in South Africa and Namibia. As a psychologist and education consultant working in an NGO (The Center for Cognitive Development) in South Africa (1991-1997) his work focused on the personal empowerment and professional training and transformation of minority educators as agents of social and political change. He has also worked as a community empowerment consultant and empowerment facilitator for a number of national and international development community development agencies. In the U.S. he has worked at the Karuna Center for Peacebuilding, focusing on the impact and sustainability of peace-building efforts and conflict transformation programs and the efficacy of facilitated inter-ethnic deep-dialogues in Bosnia (2001). He has also worked as a consultant to the US Department of Labor on issues relating to child labor and education.  Since 2004 he has worked as a program monitoring and evaluation consultant for a range of domestic and international organizations and agencies.

Bell’s early research focused on the intra-psychic processes of empowerment and social transformation and on the impact of in-service programs - on educators, as agents of social transformation. His research also focused on transformational leadership and the role of (historically black universities) higher education in social transformation in South Africa. His work and research has also included a focus on the reciprocal relationship between formal and nonformal teaching and learning, experiential learning, and modes of experiential and service learning. His current research and practice focuses on the social and political nexuses of education - and - issues and challenges related to international development and social change – including HIV and AIDS, rural education and nonformal education access and equity, and Restavek (slave children) and education access in Haiti.


Education and development, program monitoring and evaluation, qualitative research methods, international development theory, program planning design and management, participatory development practice, community development practice, participatory research and inquiry methods, community empowerment and transformation practice, education and social change, nonformal education and adult learning, and anti-oppressive education.