Date of Graduation

2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

College/School

School of Education

Department/Program

International and Multicultural Education

First Advisor

Shabnam Koirala Azad

Second Advisor

Patricia Mitchell

Third Advisor

Emma Fuentes

Abstract

Child labor is an extremely prominent and complex socio-economic issue in many developing countries. Obtaining an adequate education is the only way child workers may escape lives filled with poverty and exploitation. There is a strong indirect relationship between education and child workers. Compulsory primary schooling may provide a pathway to success.

This qualitative study explored the issue of children in India who work rather than receive a formal education, and the various resources that were provided to them by a local non-governmental organization, the Learning Foundation. It offered an informal educational opportunity, known as the New Beginning Project, to working children, by holding a daily two-hour evening class in community areas near their homes. The data collected from interviews, observations, and document reviews helped explore the approaches, methods, and impact of its advocacy work and the working children's perceptions of work, education, and resources received through the foundation. This research sought to understand the many complexities of child labor, while focusing on the working children's thoughts about their day-to-day lifestyles, job opportunities, and educational options.

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