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Ilham Nasser, PhD

Dean, School of Education

Dr. Nasser spent over twenty-five years in research on child development and teacher education in different educational settings in the U.S., Central Africa, and the Middle East. She completed a Ph.D. in Human Development and Child Study at the University of Maryland-College Park and worked for several years as a classroom teacher and a school counselor. She previously served as a faculty in teacher education for 12 years at George Mason University. Her research agenda includes publications on teacher preparation and professional development in social and political contexts. Recently, she led the modernization of the curriculum for kindergarten in Iraq and the design and development of the first national curriculum for Kindergarten in Palestine. She is currently the principal investigator of the study on “Mapping the Terrain” of education at the International Institute of Islamic Thought in Virginia.

At FXUA, she is starting her role as the Dean of the School of Education this semester (Fall, 2019). She is excited about the potential and possibilities and looks forward to working with colleagues and students to advance the education agenda of FXUA and its program offerings.

Ph.D. Human Development and Child Study

University of Maryland, College Park

  • Human development in educational contexts.
  • Early years education
  • International education
  • Teacher development and preparation
  • Learners’ wellbeing.
  • Forgiveness education.
  • Schooling in sociopolitical environments.
  • Peace education.
  • Human growth and development.
  • Curriculum development and instruction.
  • Assessment and evaluation in early childhood education.
  • Education policy in the global South.
  • Early childhood development in global contexts.


Kidd, K.J., Burns, S.M., Nasser, I. (2018). Learn It: Professional Development on Intentional Teaching. Brookes Publishing Co., MD.

Abunimer, M., & Nasser, I. (2014). Linking peace building and child development: A basic framework. In Leckman, J. F., Panter-Brick, C., & Salah, R. (eds). Pathways to Peace: The Transformative Power of Children and Families. The MIT Press.

Selected Articles:

Nasser, I. Miller-Idriss, C. & Alwani, A. (2019). Re-conceptualizing Education Transformation

in Muslim Societies. Journal of Education in Muslim Societies. IIIT and Indiana University Press.

Birch, B. & Nasser, I. (2017). Forgiveness as Pedagogy in the English Classroom. British

Council volume on English along the Fracture Lines. British Council.

Abu-Nimer, M. & Nasser, I. (2017). Building peace education in the Islamic educational

context. International Review of Education. doi:10.1007/s11159-017-9632-7. Pp.1-15.

Nasser, I., & Abu-Nimer, M. (2016). Examining views and attitudes about forgiveness among teachers in the Arab world: A Comparison between five communities. Journal for Peace and Change.

Elbilawi, N. & Nasser, I. (2016). Teachers’ professional development as a pathway for educational reform in Egypt. Reflective Practice.

Chair and discussant at the Peace education Special Interest Group panels focusing on peace education at American Education Research Association- Toronto, Canada, April, 2019.

Comparative and International Education Society (CIES, 2019). Advancing Education in Muslim Societies: Results from the pilot study. Paper presentation with Dr. Cynthia- Miller Idriss and Saulat Pervez.

Teaching critical thinking and emotional intelligence to Arab youth in Non-Formal Education: Teacher training in Jordan, Lebanon, and Palestine, September, 2016-March, 2018.

Training of trainers: “Learning to Live Together” training of community activists, teachers, and academicians on tolerance, dialogue, and communication. 2016, St. Bernard, France. 24 participants from 12 countries.

  • Peace Education Special Interest Group Chair and Program Chair (20176- 2018 & 2014-2015). American Education Research Association.
  • Consortium on Nurturing values and spirituality in early childhood: evidence based working group, Arigatuo International, Geneva.

1. American Education Research Association- Member and leadership:

2. Comparative International Education Society- Member

Fairfax University of America

School of Education, Room 221.

4401 Village Drive 2nd Floor

Fairfax, VA 22030