Faculty Biography

David I. Bell

David I. Bell, Ed.D.

IDCE Coordinator of Experiential Learning; IDCE Interim Director

Associate Professor 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


Dr. David Bell is an educationalist and psychologist who has worked extensively in Southern Africa in the field of education, empowerment, social transformation and community development. He has worked in formal and non-formal education and in a range of community empowerment projects and has taught in South Africa, Namibia and in the US. His work in South Africa has focused on the empowerment and personal transformation of 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 agencies in South Africa. He has also worked at the Karuna Center for Peacebuilding, focusing on the impact and sustainability of peace- building and conflict transformation programs and the efficacy of facilitated inter-ethnic dialogues in Bosnia. Most recently he has worked as a consultant to the US Department of Labor on issues relating to child labor and education.

Bell’s early research focused on the intra-psychic processes of empowerment and the impact of programs on educators, and as agents of social transformation. His current research focuses on the social and political juncture of education policy in Sub-Saharan Africa and in particular focuses on transformational leadership and the role of higher education in social transformation. His work and research also includes a focus on the reciprocal relationship between formal teaching and learning, experiential learning, and modes of experiential and service learning.

Current Research and Teaching

Education and development, community empowerment, social transformation, teacher education and social change, educational policy reform, power-relations and development, peace building and conflict transformation, participatory development, child labor and education, monitoring and evaluation, research-learning and service-learning, and African perspectives and contributions to education and educational leadership.

Selected Publications

Bell, D. I. (2004). Modes of Inquiry: Positioning the Self. In Ulin, P, Robinson, E and Tolley, E. (Eds.); Qualitative Methods in Public Health: A field guide for applied research. Jossey-Bass; San Francisco.

Bell, D. I. (2003). Leading Change Conceptions of Leadership and Transformation in Higher Education in South Africa. 

Chapter in Prichard, C and Trowler, P (Eds.); Realizing Qualitative Research into Higher Education. Ashgate Publishing; Aldershot, UK. van der Westhuizen, G.J. and Bell, D.I. (1996). In-Service Teacher Education as Strategy for Social Transformation, Journal of the South African Teachers Union, July, 1996.