Reflecting on scholarship and professional practice is a hallmark of a developing scholarly field and its professionalization. Yet, reflection requires data or evidence to support the ideas and directions of the field as it develops. Although there is an increasing amount of data examining comparative and international education scholarship, it is neither coordinated nor systematic. This research identifies a foundation plan for creating a systematic and consistent evidence base for reflective practice. First, by examining the full-text articles in four leading comparative and international education journals published in 2014, the research reported here empirically analyzes both the content coverage in the field as well as how the research published in the field is methodologically approached. This gives an indication of where the field of comparative and international education has been and where it is going. And, by finding the answers to the “what” and “how” questions, scholars and professionals in comparative and international education are better equipped to reflect on the field and revise, expand, and develop it accordingly. This foundational research finds that single-country, qualitative research authored by single authors dominates the field of comparative and international education. But, there is also evidence that the dominant discourse in the field – represented by the most frequent title, abstract, and keywords – is incorporated into quantitative and theoretical work more than in any other. This suggests that the nature of research in comparative and international education may be characterized by a particular type (single country, single author, qualitative), but that the dominant discourse published in the comparative and international education field does not necessarily align with the most frequently used methodologies in comparative and international education research.
Wiseman, A.W., Anderson, E., Davidson, P. and Taylor, C.S. (2016), "Building a Foundation for Reflecting on Comparative and International Education: A Synthesis of Published Comparative Education Research", Annual Review of Comparative and International Education 2015 (International Perspectives on Education and Society, Vol. 28), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 3-24. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1479-367920150000028002
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