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Book part
Publication date: 7 May 2015

C. C. Wolhuter

Comparative Education is conceptually difficult to define. It has been described as having an unusually wide terrain. It suffers from a host of identity crises, and this…

Abstract

Comparative Education is conceptually difficult to define. It has been described as having an unusually wide terrain. It suffers from a host of identity crises, and this chapter enumerates and explains 10: deciding whether Comparative Education is a discipline, a field or a method, what does ‘comparison’ in Comparative Education denote?, the minuscule place of the comparative method in Comparative Education, the dominance of single unit studies, the dearth of taxonomies, the problem that globalization makes Comparative Education seems like a field past its shelf-life, the question as to whether Comparative Education should graduate to International Education, the fact that it can show very little evidence of achieving the lofty goals it purports to pursue, the many pitfalls in practicing Comparative Education and the lack of autochthonous Comparative Education theory. The chapter concludes by indicating the potential from other comparative sciences, in order to address this problem.

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Comparative Sciences: Interdisciplinary Approaches
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-456-5

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Book part
Publication date: 17 June 2020

Kelsey Skic

Similar to joining comparative education and international education, bridging theory to practice is a hallmark of the field of comparative and international education…

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Similar to joining comparative education and international education, bridging theory to practice is a hallmark of the field of comparative and international education (CIE). Despite the commonality of citing “theory to practice,” a disconnect exists between comparativists who develop theories and practitioners who supposedly implement them. This article questions the use and meaning of this phrase. Specific questions are posed to explore how “theory to practice” is referenced in CIE publications: What does “theory to practice” mean? Who are theorists? Who are practitioners? Do practitioners know they are practitioners? How do practitioners apply theory? Perspectives from comparativists and practitioners are supplied in response to these guiding questions. These opposing perspectives demonstrate the continued disconnect between and misunderstanding of “theory to practice.” Further research is requested to better understand how these questions are currently represented in the field and how the field should evolve to better reflect theory and practice in the future.

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Annual Review of Comparative and International Education 2019
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-724-4

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Book part
Publication date: 20 August 2013

Dominique Groux

Since its creation in 1998, the French Association of Comparative Education and Exchange (AFDECE) has been concerned with developing comparative education in France. This…

Abstract

Since its creation in 1998, the French Association of Comparative Education and Exchange (AFDECE) has been concerned with developing comparative education in France. This development brings together a wide network of comparativists from all backgrounds, and shows the benefits that comparison with others and international exchanges represent for an educational system. La Revue Française d’Education Comparée (RFEC), established in March 2007, publishes investigations of innovative comparative educational research in France and in the world. AFDECE’s activities and discourse focus largely on the question of comparison in education and its relevance and validity. One emphasis of comparativists of education in France is that research in comparative education should be part of a system of thought with explicitly defined theoretical frameworks. Through cooperative research and corresponding action, comparative education in France and abroad can lead to common actions and solutions acceptable to all.

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Annual Review of Comparative and International Education 2013
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-694-1

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Book part
Publication date: 11 May 2007

Michael Shalev

The difficulties that MR poses for comparativists were anticipated 40 years ago in Sidney Verba's essay “Some Dilemmas of Comparative Research”, in which he called for a…

Abstract

The difficulties that MR poses for comparativists were anticipated 40 years ago in Sidney Verba's essay “Some Dilemmas of Comparative Research”, in which he called for a “disciplined configurative approach…based on general rules, but on complicated combinations of them” (Verba, 1967, p. 115). Charles Ragin's (1987) book The Comparative Method eloquently spelled out the mismatch between MR and causal explanation in comparative research. At the most basic level, like most other methods of multivariate statistical analysis MR works by rendering the cases invisible, treating them simply as the source of a set of empirical observations on dependent and independent variables. However, even when scholars embrace the analytical purpose of generalizing about relationships between variables, as opposed to dwelling on specific differences between entities with proper names, the cases of interest in comparative political economy are limited in number and occupy a bounded universe.2 They are thus both knowable and manageable. Consequently, retaining named cases in the analysis is an efficient way of conveying information and letting readers evaluate it.3 Moreover, in practice most producers and consumers of comparative political economy are intrinsically interested in specific cases. Why not cater to this interest by keeping our cases visible?

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Capitalisms Compared
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-414-0

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Book part
Publication date: 11 May 2007

Duane Swank

Perhaps one of the most important points Shalev makes is that Przeworski and Tuene's (1970) admonition to comparative political analysts to replace the proper names of…

Abstract

Perhaps one of the most important points Shalev makes is that Przeworski and Tuene's (1970) admonition to comparative political analysts to replace the proper names of cases with concepts and variables, or to pursue what Ragin (1987) dubs variable-oriented research, has gone too far. In Shalev's view, cases (typically nation states for the purposes of this discussion) have become all but invisible. This is particularly troublesome in Shalev's mind because, at least as far as comparative analysis of developed democratic capitalist systems is concerned (and we can say the same for political research on Latin America, Africa, or Asia), the cases are few enough to know quite well and bring to the forefront of sophisticated analysis.1 In addition, Shalev makes the distinct point that the theories we seek to test in comparative political research entail complex and often non-linear causal sequences: causes of particular political outcomes are commonly contingent on the presence of other forces, or conjunctural with temporally and spatially bound forces and contexts. In fact, in comparative theory, it is fair to argue (as Shalev does) that causal explanations of important political outcomes are often put forward in terms of complex configurations of multiple factors. Moreover, in theory and in practice, we are often confronted with the prospect of multiple configurative paths of causation of the same outcome. In the end, Shalev believes that the linear and additive logic of general MR analysis, as well as the more sophisticated versions with non-linear specifications and interaction terms, cannot adequately test our complex theories.

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Capitalisms Compared
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-414-0

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Book part
Publication date: 20 August 2013

Alexander W. Wiseman and Emily Anderson

This chapter introduces readers to the Annual Review of Comparative and International Education and approaches to reviewing the field broadly, by examining the ways that…

Abstract

This chapter introduces readers to the Annual Review of Comparative and International Education and approaches to reviewing the field broadly, by examining the ways that scholars and professionals in the field reflect on comparative and international education (CIE). It begins with a synthesis of the reviews and reflective pieces published since the mid-20th century, and then critiques the field for being neither consistently nor systematically reflective. The chapter then summarizes several of the benefits of consistent and systematic reflection through a process of annual review. The chapter concludes with an overview and synthesis of each of the sections, which provide the structure of the Annual Review, and poses questions that drive systematic reflection through each section of the volume and the field as a whole.

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Annual Review of Comparative and International Education 2013
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-694-1

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Book part
Publication date: 26 August 2019

Nikolay Popov and Teodora Genova

The authors of this chapter focus on the development of comparative education in 10 countries of Eastern and Central Europe. A historical approach is applied to the study…

Abstract

The authors of this chapter focus on the development of comparative education in 10 countries of Eastern and Central Europe. A historical approach is applied to the study of the main characteristics of comparative education. The first part of the chapter is devoted to the origin of comparative education studies in this region from the fifteenth to seventeenth centuries till the end of the nineteenth century. The second part of the chapter examines the process of establishment of comparative education as a science and the appearance of the first lecture courses on comparative education in some countries of this region from the beginning of the twentieth century till the end of World War II. The third part presents the state of comparative education during the years of socialism – from the end of World War II to the fall of the Berlin Wall. The fourth part surveys the modern development of comparative education in Eastern and Central Europe from the beginning of democratic changes in 1989 to the present day. While presenting comparative education in each historical period, the authors first show the most prominent comparativists, then emphasize on comparative education as a university discipline, and finally synthesize the main characteristics of the development of comparative education during the period of view. The chapter concludes with some generalizations on the four periods.

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Comparative and International Education: Survey of an Infinite Field
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-392-2

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Book part
Publication date: 16 December 2016

Bjorn H. Nordtveit

Comparativists have been struggling with understanding the field of Comparative and International Education (CIE) for over 60 years. Analyses of CIE knowledge production…

Abstract

Comparativists have been struggling with understanding the field of Comparative and International Education (CIE) for over 60 years. Analyses of CIE knowledge production meet at least three limiting factors: questions of what should be constituent themes of the field (or “nodes” to structure analysis); how to code individual manuscripts as belonging to one comparative field and not another (e.g. should a manuscript be coded according to its geographic focus, its methodology, educational focus, or all three?); and then finally, how to deal with knowledge production that is not published through recognized Journals or publication outlets. I use 100 submissions to the Comparative Education Review (CER) in 2015 as a way to deal with the latter constraint, suggesting that such analysis may reflect new trends in the field. Further, to deal with other constraints, I have coded each manuscript according to its methodology, geographic focus, theme, type of manuscript (e.g. single case or comparative), and author characteristics (location of author). In reviewing the submissions, I find that the field as seen from the perspective of the CER submissions is dominated by single case studies (58%), and that quantitative studies (41%) are becoming increasingly more prominent. The studies mostly are focused on higher education (32%) and secondary education (21%). Authors in majority (61%) are based in the area studied. As regards themes, there seem to be no unity or grand narratives in the field. Despite interesting new trends as related to location of authors, CIE appears dominated by fairly traditional and conservative discourses as related to themes and epistemologies.

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Annual Review of Comparative and International Education 2016
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-528-7

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Book part
Publication date: 6 January 2016

Stephanie A. Sell

In recent years, the field of comparative and international education (CIE) has experienced an outburst of self-reflective papers wherein comparativists study the nature…

Abstract

In recent years, the field of comparative and international education (CIE) has experienced an outburst of self-reflective papers wherein comparativists study the nature of the field and map its content. This study contributes to this trend by drawing attention to a previously unstudied aspect of CIE: its purpose. Using Arnove’s dimensions as a starting point to create five new purpose categories, four prominent CIE journals are surveyed to test whether the pragmatic history of CIE is evident in its current body of research. In this process, a complete and clear genetic mapping of the journals is created, which explores their similarities and differences, as well as the changes in their content over time. Findings indicate that the pragmatic purpose of CIE dominates, though it is primarily emancipatory and transformative in its prescription. Furthermore, articles rooted in specific situational contexts were more prominent than expected considering the comparative and international nature of the field.

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Annual Review of Comparative and International Education 2015
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-297-9

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Book part
Publication date: 31 December 2010

Jennifer H. Chung

Finland's performance in PISA has created considerable interest in the country's education system, to ascertain what has made Finland so successful in the survey. In…

Abstract

Finland's performance in PISA has created considerable interest in the country's education system, to ascertain what has made Finland so successful in the survey. In reference to the phenomenon, this chapter discusses cross-national attraction, policy borrowing, the effect of Finland in PISA, and its influence on education policy. This chapter explores at length the theoretical background of cross-national attraction and policy borrowing, also investigating cases that have already occurred. It discusses Finland's role as the new object of cross-national attraction and eventual policy borrowing. The chapter incorporates research into the reasons for Finland's success in PISA, the possibilities of policy transfer from Finland, and delves into the likelihood of policy implications as a result of Finland in PISA. This cross-national attraction denotes the first stage in policy borrowing; however, comparative educationalists, for years, have warned about the uncritical transfer of education policy. Research in Finland has revealed many reasons for the country's PISA success stem from contextual factors: those related to historical, cultural, societal, and political features of Finland. Therefore, policy borrowing from Finland needs to heed warnings of past comparativists. The new phenomenon of Finland in PISA has generated much curiosity from those in education, educational policy, and politics. Policymakers are keen to incorporate Finland's educational features into their education systems. PISA and Finland's performance in the survey influence educational policy. This illustrates the importance the warnings of past and present comparative educationalists in order to prevent uncritical policy borrowing.

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The Impact of International Achievement Studies on National Education Policymaking
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-449-9

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