Assistant Professor, International Education
School: Graduate School of Education and Human Development
Dr. Jihae Cha is an Assistant Professor of International Education at the George Washington University's Graduate School of Education and Human Development. Dr. Cha’s research interests examine the intersection of education quality, sense of belonging, gender, and psychosocial well-being, and the ways in which they influence students’ academic motivation, persistence, and transition in forced displacement caused by armed conflicts and natural disasters. Her recent research project uses narrative inquiry and participatory action research in navigating a sense of identity/self and belonging among populations with refugee backgrounds in the United States.
For the past decade, Dr. Cha has been actively involved in multiple research projects that examined urban refugee education, teacher professional development, accelerated education, and early childhood education with the focus on East African countries. Moving away from deficit discourses that emphasize the vulnerability, passivity, and powerlessness of displaced populations, Dr. Cha's research focuses on taking a balanced approach that explores both challenges and opportunities that exist in education for students with refugee backgrounds.
In addition to her expertise in education in emergencies, Dr. Cha also worked as a research fellow for the United Nations Academic Impact Korea where she developed a global citizenship curriculum for university students in Korea and taught multiple courses at Handong Global University on capacity building in international educational development. More recently, Dr. Cha worked as a postdoctoral research scholar at Arizona State University’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, where she co-led the monitoring, evaluation, research, and learning team of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program e-Learning Initiative in 10 universities in Africa, Central America, and the Middle East.