CIES currently has 37 Special Interest Groups (SIGs). These groups provide a forum for the involvement of individuals drawn together by common interest, such as in a field of study or geographic region. The goals of SIGs include enhancing the comprehensiveness and diversity of CIES by promoting new research, collaborative opportunities, and mentoring of novice educational researchers. SIGs also provide a platform for continuing, long-term research interests, and allow more members to assume an active role in CIES during and between Annual Meetings.

SIGs exist under the auspice of CIES. The initial decisions to introduce SIGs into CIES occurred in 2004 under the Presidency of Kassie Freeman, with the first ones approved in 2005/2006. SIGs are required to conform to the Constitution and Bylaws of CIES and to the CIES Handbook for SIG Officers.

Recognized SIGs receive conference space for sessions at the Annual Meeting. To be considered active, a SIG must be constituted by at least 30 active CIES members, elect offers, prepare a program for the Annual Meeting, execute assigned submission reviews in preparation for the Annual Meeting, and submit an annual report to the CIES SIG Oversight Committee.

Membership in any SIG is open to all registered CIES members. SIG membership is $10, and only CIES members can join a SIG.

Members can pay SIG dues when joining or renewing their membership. If somebody is a current CIES member and would like to join a SIG during the year, they can visit CIES Membership to submit SIG dues.


SIG Funds Disbursement Requests

SIGs collect funds from diverse sources such as membership fees and donations. When a SIG needs to use funds for monetary awards, receptions that not include alcohol, external website providers, speaker honorarium, or other expenses, they need to submit a request to the CIES Accounts Team of the Office of the Executive Director. There is a form available through the following link that should be filled out, signed, and sent to accounts@cies.us with any supporting documentation: CIES Disbursement Request.

The process is as follows:

1)   Complete the SIG Funds Disbursement Request Form in its entirety and have it digitally signed by the SIG Chair/Treasurer.

2)   Send any supporting documentation for the expense (receipts for expenses, award letters, honorarium letter for speakers, etc.) as a PDF.

If an international wire transfer is needed, the accounts team will work directly with the payee to obtain bank information. We will also request W-9 or W-8 forms, etc.

Please submit the signed form and all supporting documentation to the accounts@cies.us email address (for reference, also copy the SIG Coordination  reference at ciessigs@gmail.com).

Starting a New SIG

Per the CIES Bylaws, any group of 37 or more active CIES members may petition for the establishment of a SIG. Each petition should include the printed names, email or mailing address, and signatures of the CIES members as well as a rationale describing the purpose, scope, and uniqueness of the SIG and its membership. Please refer to Appendix 1 of the CIES Handbook for SIG Officers. Completed petitions should be sent to the CIES Office of the Executive Director at oed@cies.us.

The following describes the process for establishing a new SIG:

1. The requisite number of CIES members completes and sends a petition for a new CIES SIG to the CIES SIG Oversight Committee Co-Chairs (Appendix 1) by April 30. No funds are collected with this petition.

2. The SIG Oversight Committee reviews proposals and ensures that they meet all requirements, before forwarding its recommendation with the petition to the CIES Board of Directors by July 31.

3. The Board of Directors approves or rejects new SIG petitions by December 31.

4. SIGs approved by the Board of Directors are officially accepted into the Society at the next Annual Meeting, and hold their first business meeting and formally elect officers at the same Annual Meeting.

5. SIGs solicit panels at the Annual Meeting after their first Business Meeting and election of officers.

The following CIES SIGs represent geographical regions of study.

Afrika SIG

The Afrika SIG aims to foster a sense of community among their members; inform the membership of best practices and current research in the field; and provide a valuable space for networking and dialoguing on Africa education.

Click on SIG name to learn more.

East Asia SIG

The East Asia SIG (EA SIG) aims to formalize and strengthen communication among scholars of East Asia, and to help the larger CIES membership become better acquainted with East Asian education and societies.

EA SIG’s email: cieseasig@gmail.com

Click on SIG name to learn more.

Eurasia SIG

The Eurasia SIG SIG will bring together educational researchers and practitioners working on or in Eurasia.

SIG email address: Eurasia.sig@gmail.com

Click on SIG name to learn more.

Latin America SIG

The Latin America SIG (LA SIG) includes Latin Americanist educators, leaders, and scholars who offer through their research and experiences the opportunity to celebrate the accomplishment of goals and the launching of projects in the region and to open the dialogue regarding the region’s educational experiences, achievements, and challenges.

LA SIG’s email: lasig.cies@gmail.com

Click on SIG name to learn more.

Middle East North Africa SIG

The Middle East Special Interest Group brings together scholars, educators, and development practitioners interested in the study of the region. Through high quality scholarship, dissemination, and service we seek to enhance educational policy, programming, and pedagogy, and to foster understanding of the region’s peoples more generally.

The Middle East Special Interest Group operates under the auspice of the Comparative and International Education Society, and offers a nexus for those who are interested in educational issues within or about the broader Middle East and North Africa region, or with peoples from the region.

MENA SIG’s email: cies.mesig@gmail.com

Click on SIG name to learn more.

South Asia SIG

The mission of the South Asia SIG (SA SIG) is to create a community of researchers, policy-makers and practitioners interested in educational and social issues related to South Asia and South Asian Diaspora. The group aims to provide the much needed space for discussing and exchanging current research, policy, and best practices from the region and beyond, and to serve as a networking forum for graduate students, practitioners, policy makers, and researchers. We also publish monthly newsletters for our SIG members to assist in this community-building initiative by highlighting research and practices related to the field of education and development in a South Asian perspective. 

SA SIG’s email: sasig.cies@gmail.com

Click on SIG name to learn more.

Southeast Asia SIG

The Southeast Asia SIG (SEA SIG) provides a collaborative space for educators, scholars, researchers, and practitioners working on scholarship from and about the Southeast Asian region (Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Philippines, Timor-Leste, and Papua New Guinea).  A complex and historically rich region, Southeast Asia has responded to cultural, political, educational, and environmental changes for over several millennia, and the SEA SIG aims to explore the region from various disciplinary perspectives, including comparative and international education, anthropology, economics, philosophy, sociology, international relations, and public policy. 

SEA SIG’s email: seasig2020@gmail.com

    Click on SIG name to learn more.

    The following CIES SIGs represent topics of study.

    African Diaspora SIG

    The African Diaspora SIG (AD SIG) seeks to foster a community of scholars and practitioners to engage with the historical contexts and contemporary educational experiences of Black communities across the globe. A broader analysis of the educational realities of African descendants within and outside the United States offers the opportunity to review similar and different challenges, lessons, and new possibilities.

    AD SIGs email: CIESADSIG@gmail.com

    Click on SIG name to learn more.

    Citizenship and Democratic Education SIG

    The Citizenship and Democratic Education SIG (CANDE SIG) seeks to create an active community of educators and researchers to share their views and encourage productive debate on various aspects of citizenship and democratic education, in the United States and around the world. We welcome scholars, education practitioners, and policymakers who are interested in citizenship and democratic education.

    Click on SIG name to learn more.

    Contemplative Inquiry and Holistic Education SIG

    The Contemplative Inquiry and Holistic Education SIG (CIHE SIG) is concerned with the development and integration of learners’ mind, body, and spirit through holistic means. Like teaching, learning is a holistic endeavor that is most powerful when multiple aspects of the human being – cognitive, emotional, intuitive, physical, social, spiritual, and ethical – work together. The CIHE SIG’s aims relate to:

    1. Exploring and demonstrating the value of holistic education in settings around the world;
    2. Examining pedagogies for inner growth and development through a combination of right-brained and left-brained approaches, such as meditation, qigong, tai chi, yoga, movement, music, dance, storytelling, the visual arts, and reflective writing (e.g., diaries, journals, essays, and poetry), instead of just the left-brained, standardized-testing approach;
    3. Studying the use of creative and multidisciplinary forms of holistic education that encourage learners to become engaged in society;
    4. Comparing educational systems in different parts of the world in terms of how well and how often they engage learners in holistic learning;
    5. Determining the factors that contribute to success in holistic education in an international perspective;
    6. Identifying the key aspects in conducting research related to holistic education; and
    7. Learning about the many ways (e.g., autobiographical narratives, poetry, artistic expression, and meditation-based processes) contemplative inquiry can contribute to such research in areas around the world.

    The SIG’s focus is central to an understanding of the inner self, and the contemplative research methodologies it promotes are necessary for comparative and international education.

    Email CIES.CIHE.SIG@gmail.com

    Click on SIG name to learn more.

    Cultural Contexts of Education and Human Potential SIG

    The Cultural Contexts of Education and Human Potential SIG (CCEHP SIG) aims to make the case for the necessity of including the voices of individuals often unheard and to promote better understanding and learning between and about different groups. Moreover, it is also intended to demonstrate how the underutilization of the voices of different cultures has led to the underutilization of their potential.

    CCEHP SIG’s email: ccehp.cies@gmail.com

    Click on SIG name to learn more.

    Early Childhood Development SIG

    The Early Childhood Development SIG (ECD SIG) seeks to foster exchange & strengthen linkages between ECD research and practice; help keep members abreast of new developments in the field; build linkages among various ECD networks nationally and internationally; prepare ECD thematic sessions at the next CIES conference.

    Click on SIG name to learn more.

    Economics and Finance of Education SIG

    The Economics and Finance of Education SIG (EFE-SIG) focuses on investigating, conceptualizing, and theorizing the links between Economics and Finance of Education Policies. The EFE-SIG offers a new opportunity for scholars interested in topics such as: Redistribution, political philosophy, economics, and financing schooling systems; International aid and mechanisms of redistribution; Education finance, economics, and poverty reduction; Financing education and theories of justice; Theories of learning, knowledge and knowledge economics; School finance, adequacy, and equity in resource allocation; Equality of Educational Opportunity and its effect on society; Teachers’ effectiveness, incentives and rewards; Charter schools and school based management; Higher education finance and learning networks; Early childhood finance; Special education finance; State competitiveness, social cohesiveness and mechanisms of reallocation.

    The EFE-SIG is important as it suggests a unique perspective. We aim to contribute to the perception of Economics and Finance of Education as a global issue and not just a national issue. In addition, we highlight the importance of the EFE-SIG, as currently Education Finance issues are rarely addressed from the perspective of Comparative Education.

    Click on SIG name to learn more.

    Education in Conflict and Emergencies SIG

    The SIG on Education in Conflict and Emergencies brings together CIES members around a broad range of research and programmatic activities including education during armed conflict and natural disasters; educational reconstruction post-conflict and post-disaster; and the relationships between educational provision and peace-building, transitional justice, and resilience across conflict-affected, post-conflict, and fragile states.

    Click on SIG name to learn more.

    Educational Improvement SIG

    The Educational Improvement Special Interest Group (EI SIG) is a systematic and timely response by CIES members to the merging, interdisciplinary field of Educational Improvement Science (or Studies) (EIS) since the turn of the 21st century.

    The new EI SIG aims to bring together academics, policy actors and other professionals in the field of comparative and international education who are interested in improvemental studies, with the following missions: (a) initiating and demonstrating the value of educational improvement in international settings; (b) examining innovative pedagogies for educational improvement through interdisciplinary, multiperspectival approaches of inquiry; (c) pioneering and applying such pedagogies that weapon practitioners to become professional improvers for learning, teaching and/or education; (d) exploring and expanding methodologies for the studies of educational improvement; (e) forming and networking professional communities for shared future of educational improvement in the world; and (f) comparing educational improvement in various systems and contexts in terms of key desirable values elaborated earlier, such as the improvement of educational mission, equality, quality, diversity, character, and so on.

    Click on SIG name to learn more.

    Environmental and Sustainability Education SIG

    The Environmental and Sustainability Education SIG (ESE SIG) promotes scholarly research and professional activities of those concerned with the intersection of education (broadly defined) and sustainable development. Specifically, the SIG explores how the discourse and practice of sustainable development affect educational institutions and how educational institutions facilitate the development of knowledge, skills, behaviors and attitudes needed for sustainable development.

    Click on SIG name to learn more.

    Gender Justice SIG


    First, the Gender Justice SIG seeks to build a broad membership of gender justice comparative education scholars and practitioners that reflects the gender, sexual, and racial diversity in the field and that actively works to engage and collaborate with scholars and practitioners from the global South and minoritized communities in the global North as leaders and members. We see the 2023 Conference as an ideal opportunity to make space for new perspectives, and we invite new members to join and actively shape the creation of the SIG’s mission and priorities.

    Second, the Gender Justice SIG seeks to forward gender theorizing within CIE alongside and in response to feminist scholarly and activist movements across the world. In particular, we aim to: (1) foster connections between the SIG and the wide networks of feminist movements and gender justice activists in education in the global South; (2) prioritize the development of a robust feminist mentoring network that offers meaningful, long term opportunities for graduate students and other CIES newcomers; and (3) cultivate community and rigorous discussion about gender justice and theory through the development of thematic study groups comprised of scholars and practitioners.

    SIG email: gender.justice.sig@gmail.com

    Click on SIG name to learn more.

    Global Literacy SIG

     The Global Literacy SIG is organized around key issues in reading and writing instruction and assessment and larger issues and implications of literacy use throughout the world.

    Click on SIG name to learn more.

    Global Mathematics Education SIG

    The purpose of the Global Mathematics Education SIG (GME SIG) is to provide a forum for researchers and practitioners from around the world to discuss theory, practices, and techniques related to mathematics learning starting in early childhood to tertiary education.

    Click on SIG name to learn more.

    Global Migration SIG

    The Global Migration-SIG (GM-SIG) brings together scholars and practitioners who study migration from a range of research approaches to advance theories, methods, policies, and practices. The SIG takes up questions related to traditional assimilationist/integrationist paradigms in the field of migration and provides a space for examination of dimensions of migration such as: context (postcoloniality/globality), historicity, temporality and space, policy, identity/belonging, movement and bordering, public discourses, representation, racialization, language minoritization, surveillance/criminalization, transnationalism and translanguaging, problematizing legal and political classifications, emigration/immigration/transition, complicating notions of the nation-state, urban space and settlement, gateway cities, environmental migration, transnational migration.

    Click on SIG name to learn more.

    Globalization and Education SIG

    The Globalization and Education SIG (GE SIG) seeks to provide a forum where researchers and practitioners involved in global study of comparative and international education have meaningful conversations and exchanges of ideas related to globalization and education.

    SIG email: gesig.cies@gmail.com

    Click on SIG name to learn more.

    Higher Education SIG

    The Higher Education SIG (HE SIG) serves as a networking hub for promoting scholarship opportunities, critical dialogue, and linking professionals and academics to the international aspects of higher education.

    SIG email: cies.hesig@gmail.com

    Click on SIG name to learn more.


    ICT4D (ICT for Development) is an outlet for members of the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) to collaborate with, learn from, and create bonds that will heighten interest and research in this ever-growing area.

    Click on SIG name to learn more.

    Inclusive Education SIG

    The Inclusive Education SIG (IE SIG) seeks to elicit the participation of scholars interested in educational issues specific to the multiple meanings of IE and, accordingly, to learners who are marginalized due to special educational needs. These might include: disabilities, second language acquisition, poverty, racial and ethnic discrimination, social exclusion, etc.

     Click on SIG name to learn more.

    Indigenous Knowledge and the Academy SIG

    The Indigenous Knowledge and the Academy SIG (IKA SIG) consists of CIES members, members of indigenous communities, and practitioners who want to dialogue about ways to develop alternative knowledge and how this can be used to interact with and transform the academy.

    SIG email: ikasigcies@gmail.com

    Click on SIG name to learn more.

    Language Issues SIG

     The Language Issues SIG (LI SIG) is a network of researchers and practitioners working to understand the role of language(s) in education, as well as the role of the languages of instruction in differing, and often contentious, political and cultural contexts.

    Click on SIG name to learn more.

    Large-Scale Cross-National Studies in Education SIG

    The Large-Scale Cross-National Studies in Education SIG (LSCNSE SIG) mission is to promote research related to large-scale cross-national studies in education. The SIG aims to bring together scholars and practitioners who are contributing to the analysis, critique, and development of large-scale assessment methods and results, as well as their implications for education policy.

    Click on SIG name to learn more.

    Monitoring and Evaluation SIG

    The purpose of the Monitoring and Evaluation SIG (M&E SIG) is to share and elevate best practices, evidence and research, challenges, and solutions regarding monitoring, evaluation, and learning in the field of international education. This SIG encourages practitioners, scholars, scholar-practitioners, researchers, evaluators, and students interested in monitoring and evaluation to engage in a variety of topics including: developing evaluation and research designs, creating analytical frameworks, using qualitative and quantitative methodologies, ensuring participatory evaluation principles and ethics of equity and inclusion, visualizing data, and establishing monitoring systems, among other monitoring, evaluation, and learning areas.

    We encourage SIG members to engage with the SIG to: 1) Share resources and research on various topics in monitoring and evaluation for education programming and learning; 2) Collaborate and learn from one another, share challenges and solutions, and improve the field collectively; and 3) Join mentoring opportunities that link monitoring, evaluation, and learning enthusiasts at different points in the professional pathways.

    SIG email: ciesmande@gmail.com

    Click on SIG name to learn more.

    Peace Education SIG

    The Peace Education SIG (PE SIG) brings together members of the Comparative and International Education Society with common interests in the study of peace and conflict, human rights, and social justice in education.

    SIG email: ciespeaceedsig@gmail.com 

    Click on SIG name to learn more.

    Philanthropy and Education SIG

    The Philanthropy and Education SIG (PiE SIG) aims to facilitate academic discourse on the topic of philanthropy in the education sector, while simultaneously exploring socially responsive and effective giving of individuals, corporations, and foundations. Members include those in academia (students, academics), those engaging in the policy-making processes (policymakers, governments) and philanthropic projects themselves (NGOs, philanthropies). Please join us and be a part of the conversation!

    PIE SIG’s email: pie.sig.cies@gmail.com

    Click on SIG name to learn more.

    Post-foundational Approaches to Comparative and International Education SIG

    The Post-foundational Approaches in Comparative and International Education SIG (PfACIE SIG) was initiated to provide a dedicated space for comparative education scholars at all career stages interesting in sharing work that draws upon post-structural approaches to social theory. Whilst Foucault is already an important reference point for many CIES members the SIG also encourages engagement with other leading voices that are less audible within CIE (e.g. Agamben, Baudrillard, Butler, Derrida, Deleuze, Lacan, Rancière, Mbembe and Lather to name but a few). Recognizing that theory itself might be viewed as a constraining metanarrative, the SIG also takes inspiration from alternative intellectual horizons that might include mysticism, indigenous knowledges and Eastern religions. In this sense, the SIG is an invitation to work with, problematize and celebrate difference in social life, using this to inspire and regenerate the field of CIE.

    SIG email: postfoundationalSIG@gmail.com

    Click on SIG name to learn more.

    Religion, Education, and Society SIG

    The Religion, Education, and Society SIG (RE SIG) was established SIG with the purpose of comparatively exploring the links between education and religion across national, historical, and civilizational contexts. The SIG will foster an interdisciplinary dialogue and international collaboration focusing on the implications from the study of education-religion links for all fields of educational research and practice. Our key areas of focus include: Religion in Secular Schools; Religion in Religious Schools; Security and Religious Extremism; and Religious Education Curriculum around the World.

    Click on SIG name to learn more.

    Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression SIG

     The term SOGIE—Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression– is increasingly used in international arenas along with the term LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex). The SOGIE SIG will be dedicated to promoting research on the experiences of LGBTI students in schools, the diffusion and uptake of human rights norms related to SOGIE, the roles the international community and NGOs play in SOGIE issues, and other related themes.

    Click on SIG name to learn more.

    Study Abroad and International Students SIG

     Today, over five million students cross geographical, cultural, and educational borders for their higher education. Educators and policymakers value international students as a potential resource toward campus internationalization in recent decades because of the rapid flow of ideas, technology, languages, information, and monetary benefit that they bring with them. This SIG hopes to offer a richer understanding of international students/scholars and their global experiences who are studying in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and Americas where the emerging trends and practices of international students are prominent. It also hopes to include the cross-national, multi-institution, and interdisciplinary perspectives of faculty and domestic students who work (in)directly with international students and scholars.

    SIG email: sais.cies@gmail.com

    Click on SIG name to learn more.

    Teacher Education and the Teaching Profession SIG

     The Teacher Education and the Teaching Profession SIG (TETP SIG) facilitates dissemination of information and fosters dialogues about critical issues in teaching and teacher education from national and international perspectives. Teachers/teacher educators/researchers are given an opportunity and a framework for discourse on issues, concerns, and successes pertaining to teaching and the teaching profession in each country.

    TETP SIG’s email: ciestetpsig@gmail.com

    Click on SIG name to learn more.

    Teaching Comparative and International Education SIG

    The Teaching Comparative and International Education SIG (TCIE SIG) brings together scholars and instructors of comparative and international education from around the world. It is dedicated to understanding and enhancing the contours of course work in the field and promoting comparative and international education in higher education.

    Click on SIG name to learn more.

    Youth Development and Education SIG

    The Youth Development and Education SIG provides a forum for researchers and practitioners involved in the global study of comparative and international education to debate and exchanges ideas related to youth development and secondary education.

    SIG email: ydesig.cies@gmail.com

    Click on SIG name to learn more.

    21st Century Educational Alternatives SIG

    The 21st Century Educational Alternatives SIG provides a home for CIES members who are critical of the systems and structures that continue to yield worldwide poverty and inequality, entrenched racism and patriarchy, accelerating climate chaos, and the constant presence of wars.

    Click on the SIG name to learn more.

    Thank you for your interest in joining a Special Interest Group! You must be a member of CIES to join a SIG.

    There are three ways to join a SIG:

      1. Current CIES members can join anytime of the year at members.cies.us/store.
      2. When renewing or joining CIES membership at members.cies.us/store.
      3. By mail or phone. Please contact the Office of the Executive Director (OED) Membership Coordinator by email at membership@cies.us, or by phone during business hours at (412) 383-3935.