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Helen N. Boyle, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of International and Comparative Education

Dr. Helen N. Boyle is an Associate Professor of International and Comparative Education in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. She holds a joint appointment at FSU’s Learning Systems Institute. Her research explores the evolving role that Islamic educational institutions in North and West Africa and the Middle East are playing in advancing national and international development goals with regard to education and literacy.

Dr. Boyle has more than 20 years of experience as a senior technical advisor on international education and development projects focused on teacher training, early grade reading and literacy, program monitoring and evaluation, and Islamic education. She has worked in or managed education projects in Yemen, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Haiti, Guinea, Mali, Nigeria, Ghana, DRC, Zambia, Uganda, Ethiopia, South Sudan and the West Bank.

Dr. Boyle has a BA is from Boston College and an Ed.M. from Harvard. Her doctorate is in Comparative and Social Analysis in Education from the University of Pittsburgh, with a focus on International Development Education and a minor in anthropology. Her dissertation, funded through a Fulbright Dissertation Fellowship, is an ethnographic study of the phenomenon of Quranic preschools in the town of Chefchouan, Morocco. Her dissertation received the Gail P. Kelly Award for Outstanding Dissertation from the Comparative and International Education Society in 2001 and formed the basis of her book, Quranic Schools: Agents of Preservation and Change. She has published articles on Islamic education in refereed journals such as the Comparative Education Review and The Review of Faith in International Affairs.

She is a member of the Comparative and International Education Society, the American Anthropological Association, and the Middle East Studies Association.

Dr. Boyle teaches Education in Islamic Societies, Design and Management of International Development Education Projects, and Schooling in Developing Countries. She hails from Springfield, Mass., but lived in Washington for 15 years.


Ph.D. in Comparative and Social Analysis in Education, University of Pittsburgh

Ed.M., Harvard University

B.A., Boston College


  • U.S. - Indonesia Teacher Training Partnership, RTI International, $500,000, Principal Investigator
  • Landscape Report on Primary Grade Reading, University Research Corporation, $146,832, Principal Investigator
  • Education Crisis Response Project for Northern Nigeria, Creative Associates International Inc., $50,000, Principal Investigator


  • Boyle, H. N. (2014). Between Secular Public Schools and Qur’anic Private Schools: The Growing Educational Presence of Malian Medersas. The Review of Faith &International Affairs, 12 (2), 16-26.

  • Boyle, H.N., Al Ajjawi, S. and Xiang, Y. (2014). Topical Analysis of Early Grade Reading Instruction. Washington, DC: Research Triangle Institute for USAID. EdData II Technical and Managerial Assistance, Task 15: Data for Education Programming in Asia and the Middle East EdData II Contract Number EHC-E-00-04-00004-00 Task Order Number AID-OAA-BC-11-00001 RTI Project No. 09354.015.

  • Boyle, H.N., & Boukamhi, A. (contract). Islamic Education in Morocco. Manuscript under contract for publication, The Netherlands: Springer.