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An Introduction to Comparative and International Education principles and methods.

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1 An Introduction to Comparative and International Education principles and methods

2 Background to Principles 1960s -70s comparative education was in a strong position to compare national educational systems and to observe the experiments and reforms being undertaken in many formal educational systems in both east and west Europe. International understanding and goodwill underpinned the discipline, particularly in relation to USSR and China. (Watson 2001)

3 Background to Principles At the start of the 21 st Century we find that many of the post-war certainties have gone Value systems have become fragmented Economic systems and political entities are being reformulated – future of nation state, emergence of new states Perpetual change loses the long view Hobsbawm (1994)

4 Background to Principles Globalisation – in the areas of banking, finance, economic production, division of labour, migration and media, we are dealing with influences which transcend national boundaries. Every country is a developing country- borrowing of policies and growing similarities in education systems Privatization & marketization weaken central government control Trans-national companies Multilateral organisations eg WBO, IMF

5 Principles of Comparative Education The discipline needs to relate to other disciplines – Politics, Sociology, International Relations The discipline needs to understand the economics of Education – education and economic growth; benefits of basic, technical and HE and private and public education The discipline needs to develop ethnographic research if it is to challenge economically driven assumptions, which do not take into account culture, history, identity and social and spiritual values. (Watson 2001)

6 Methodology Analysis and description – keeping OECD and PISA, UNESCO, WBO, IMF data in perspective Explanations and prediction – simplistic use of data to explain and predict eg the link between economic performance and a particular education structure – avoid being too scientific, what about history?

7 Methodology Continued Ethnography (Phillips & Schweisfurth 2006 93-95) The researchers cultural preconceptions – be aware of ourselves looking at Yoneyamas conceptual matrix of education reform discourse (2004) Language – avoid converting culturally determined terms into English concepts eg Bildung, Gymnasium In your reading of research be aware of how data collection has taken into account translation

8 Methodology Continued Units of analysis: When comparing nation states we need to be aware of context eg federal structures, separate jurisdictions and intra-national comparisons We need to be aware of the implications of regional comparisons which do not take into account individual cultures

9 Methodology Continued Researching policy transfer: This is a key issue in light of the impact of globalisation Phillips and Ochs model of composite processes in policy borrowing (2004) Complexity of the process which must take context seriously Phillips structure for comparative inquiry (2006)

10 Application of Principles and Methodology in the Module Informing the critical discussion in seminars Informing your critical reading of the seminar texts Informing your choice and critical analysis of your area of research to be submitted in January

11 Bibliography Phillips, D. (2006) A Structure for Comparative Enquiry, in Conrad, C. & Serlin, R., (Eds) A Sage Handbook for Research in Education,London, Sage. Phillips, D & Ochs,k. (2004) Researching Policy Borrowing British Educational Research Journal, 30 (6) Phillips, D. & Schweisfurth, M. (2006) Comparative and International Education,London, Continuum, chapter 5, Comparative Education: methods 82 – 102. Watson, K. (2001) Comparative Educational Research: the need for reconceptualisation and fresh insights, in Watson, K. (Ed) Doing Comparative Education Research, issues and problems, Oxford, Symposium Books, 23 – 42. Yoneyama, S. (2004) Review of Can the Japanese Change Their Education System, in Japanese Studies, 24 (1) 139 - 42

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