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Teaching Comparative Education
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Oxford Studies in Comparative Education

Teaching Comparative Education

trends and issues informing practice

Edited by PATRICIA K. KUBOW & ALLISON H. BLOSSER

2016 paperback 212 pages, £42.00, ISBN 978-1-873927-82-3
https://doi.org/10.15730/books.95

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About the book

With chapter contributions from seminal scholars in the field of comparative and international education (CIE), this book examines the ways in which comparative education is being taught, or advocated for, in teacher education within higher education institutions worldwide. A particular concern raised by the authors - in locations as diverse as Germany, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the United States - is the utilitarian approach in teacher education, where that which is valued is that which is measurable. The implications for what and how CIE should be taught is examined in light of the ideological, sociocultural, political, and economic trends influencing education worldwide. The main questions posed in the book include: What are the challenges and opportunities for CIE, and its practice, now and in the future?

Contents [Please click on author name for summary]

Patricia K. Kubow, Allison H. Blosser Introduction. Framing the Teaching Comparative Education Terrain: the need for critical agency in teacher education, 7-17

PART I: IDEOLOGICAL AND CONCEPTUAL LANDSCAPE OF COMPARATIVE AND INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION

Robert F. Arnove, Barry L. Bull The Roles of the Social Sciences and Philosophy in Teaching Comparative Education, 19-40

Michael Crossley Reconceptualising the Teaching of Comparative and International Education, 41-55

Erwin H. Epstein Why Comparative and International Education? Reflections on the Conflation of Names, 57-73

Patricia K. Kubow, Allison H. Blosser Multicultural Education is Not Enough: the case for comparative education in preservice teacher education, 75-90

PART 2: AIMS AND PURPOSES OF COMPARATIVE AND INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION

Karen L. Biraimah From Parochialism to Globalism: infusing comparative and international education through study abroad in teacher education programs, 91-111

Irving Epstein Comparative Education at the Undergraduate Level: affirming liberal inquiry as an alternative to the professional teacher education model, 113-132

Maria Manzon Comparative Educations to What Ends?, 133-150

PART 3: SOCIOPOLITICAL TRENDS AND ISSUES INFLUENCING PRACTICE OF COMPARATIVE AND INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION

Noah W. Sobe Comparative Education, Globalization and Teaching with/against the Nation-State, 151-162

Carlos Alberto Torres Teaching Comparative Education: the dialectics of the global and the local, 163-181

Marcelo Parreira do Amaral, Sabine Hornberg Teaching Comparative and International Education: bridging social demands for practical performance-based competencies with critical reflectivity, 183-201

David Phillips Teaching Comparative Education: a personal afterword, 203-208

Notes on Contributors, 209-212

Introduction. Framing the Teaching Comparative Education Terrain: the need for critical agency in teacher education
Patricia K. Kubow, Allison H. Blosser

Introduction

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PART I: IDEOLOGICAL AND CONCEPTUAL LANDSCAPE OF COMPARATIVE AND INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION

The Roles of the Social Sciences and Philosophy in Teaching Comparative Education
Robert F. Arnove, Barry L. Bull

The authors propose an approach to the teaching of comparative education that emphasizes simultaneously the descriptive and normative aspects of education. This approach introduces students to philosophical frameworks that philosophers have developed recently that are universal but not comprehensive. These frameworks argue that certain core values are valid universally, for example, freedom and dignity. The values that fall outside this core are, then, appropriately determined by local and cultural considerations, and even with such universal values, localities can seek to achieve them in ways that are true to their transnational meaning but are locally appropriate. The approach then demonstrates how case studies based on social science can be developed to enable the application of the philosophical frameworks. For the purposes of this chapter, the authors have selected the case of South Africa for analysis.

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Reconceptualising the Teaching of Comparative and International Education
Michael Crossley

This chapter examines how the teaching of comparative and international education has evolved and been reconceptualised in the United Kingdom, and how this has been influenced by changes in the contemporary ideological landscape that have challenged the nature and place of all foundation studies in education. The analysis builds upon earlier work on the teaching of comparative education; it points to the growing importance of teaching that is related to programmes of research training; it highlights the enduring theme of education policy transfer; and it concludes by identifying three key challenges for both teaching and research within the field.

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Why Comparative and International Education? Reflections on the Conflation of Names
Erwin H. Epstein

The proliferation of titles for coursework, programs and associations in our field is seemingly limitless. A student entering study in comparative education, international education, multicultural education, or any of the other related subjects confronts a bewildering array of names that often stand for the same field. In coursework, students are faced with either a comparative education in chaotic relationship with international education or a unitary field without formal association with kindred fields. This chapter, based on the George Kneller Lecture at the 2016 Meeting of the Comparative and International Education Society, addresses how the very name of the Society has raised uncertainty about the nature of the field itself.

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Multicultural Education is Not Enough: the case for comparative education in preservice teacher education
Patricia K. Kubow, Allison H. Blosser

This chapter argues that multicultural education is not enough to develop globally aware teachers. The authors make the case that comparative education is as relevant, if not more so, to teacher education than multicultural education. Drawing upon Patricia Kubow and Paul Fossum’s (2003, 2007) definition of comparative education as awareness and understanding of the theoretical and philosophical assumptions underlying educational issues and reforms in various nations to inform educational practice in one’s own context, the authors note that it is rare to find a comparative education course taught at the undergraduate level in the United States. Graduates of Comparative and International Education programs therefore find themselves teaching multicultural-oriented courses as opposed to comparative education courses in teacher education programs. And, while many comparativists eschew the practical/utilitarian direction of teacher education in the USA and elsewhere, comparative education’s academic orientation is both its strength and its biggest limitation in the present teacher education climate.

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PART 2: AIMS AND PURPOSES OF COMPARATIVE AND INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION

From Parochialism to Globalism: infusing comparative and international education through study abroad in teacher education programs
Karen L. Biraimah

This chapter suggests an alternate path to infusing Comparative and International Education within teacher education programs by merging traditional curriculum with innovative study abroad experiences. It will first argue why study abroad experiences are invaluable tools for sensitizing learners to complex and challenging intercultural and transnational societal issues. It will then demonstrate how these experiences can provide a deeper, more personalized understanding of issues related to culture, immigration, globalization, technology, economics, politics, and second-language acquisition that will allow future teachers to better prepare their students for the twenty-first century. While acknowledging the challenges that surround the development of truly transformational study abroad programs in emerging nations and elsewhere, the chapter concludes with the notion that current globalization trends dictate that institutions worldwide include cross-cultural, international and comparative education perspectives within initial teacher education programs, and that transformational study abroad programs are one tool for reaching this goal.

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Comparative Education at the Undergraduate Level: affirming liberal inquiry as an alternative to the professional teacher education model
Irving Epstein

It is both paradoxical and ironic that the comparative education experience at the undergraduate level encourages students to engage in liberal inquiry at the cost of adhering to an insipid professionalism that characterizes typical teacher preparation programs. The cost of negotiating such competing frameworks is significant, particularly when the activities associated with comparative education study embrace every single high-impact learning experience that has been shown to be influential and transformative in one’s educational career. Acquiescence to the professional development model will never guarantee that teacher educators and future teachers will acquire the enhanced social status they seek. In addition, the needs of twenty-first-century US public school students demand that future teachers acquire broader competencies and understandings than those embedded in the professional teacher education model. As a result, the comparative education experience at the undergraduate level provides a template for needed teacher education reform that has heretofore been resisted or ignored.

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Comparative Educations to What Ends?
Maria Manzon

This chapter seeks to elucidate the discourses about the aims and purposes of comparative education. Commencing with a philosophical review of the aims of education and of fields of comparative inquiry, it then examines how comparative educationists have intellectually constructed the field through their definitions of its purposes. Against this backdrop, the chapter examines the case of Singapore where, it is argued, comparative education is a mode of educational governance and is, paradoxically, extramural. The chapter concludes on a fairly open-ended note, raising questions about the worthwhile purposes of comparative education.

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PART 3: SOCIOPOLITICAL TRENDS AND ISSUES INFLUENCING PRACTICE OF COMPARATIVE AND INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION

Comparative Education, Globalization and Teaching with/against the Nation-State
Noah W. Sobe

Calls to overcome methodological nationalism in the field of comparative education are misguided if they do not engage with the ways that both the ‘nation-state’ and a ‘globalized world’ postulate the social world as a single whole to begin with. This chapter proposes that it is necessary to teach comparative education both ‘with’ and ‘against’ the nation-state. Comparative education scholars should be equipped to analyze the ways that nationalizing elements get incorporated into educational assemblages. Students of comparative education should also be equipped to deconstruct national ‘facts’ both by grappling with heterogeneity and intra-national levels of analyses, as well as by interrogating spatiality and the politics of scale.

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Teaching Comparative Education: the dialectics of the global and the local
Carlos Alberto Torres

This chapter claims that critical theorists teach from a perspective of social justice, and therefore they teach and conduct research to change the world, not simply to reproduce it. The challenges of our time persuaded many of us that teaching comparative education should be done addressing the context, promises and challenges of global citizenship education as an emerging focal point of the field. After proposing the central themes of his teaching philosophy – which may even problematize teaching for some colleagues – the author focuses on the ecology and intellectual architecture of one of the most used textbooks in comparative education, Arnove, Torres and Franz’s 'Comparative Education: the dialectics of the global and the local', a book already in its fourth edition and much translated. Translations deserve a special scrutiny in our teaching and research endeavors, and the author argues that translations imply border crossing among cultures, languages and histories. Finally, there is a focus on the concept of global citizenship education, which needs to be framed in the context of a new narrative about education, and particularly a critique of neoliberalism. Emphasizing the politicity of education, the author calls into question whether it is possible to fully dissociate the normative from the analytical in the construction of scientific thought. This issue raises the importance of the notion of a good society guiding the intellectual, theoretical, meta-theoretical and empirical analysis, and this thesis should be seriously considered in our classrooms and research.

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Teaching Comparative and International Education: bridging social demands for practical performance-based competencies with critical reflectivity
Marcelo Parreira do Amaral, Sabine Hornberg

This chapter discusses some important issues and trends affecting Comparative and International Education (CIE) teaching and learning in German universities. It focuses on socio-political and cultural themes and trends that helped shape research foci in the field, on public and policy attention to the field during recent years, and on how CIE is taught in the academy. In addition, this contribution aims at reflecting on the potential (side) effects of the socio-political and cultural trends referred to in this chapter on the (self-)understanding of CIE as a field of scholarly inquiry in education as well as on CIE teaching and learning. The chapter concludes that the tensions identified in the long run deserve vigilant attention for understanding and shaping CIE as a field of scholarly inquiry, teaching and learning in education in Germany.

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Teaching Comparative Education: a personal afterword
David Phillips

Afterword

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Notes on Contributors

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Contributors

Robert F. Arnove is Chancellor’s Professor Emeritus of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Indiana University Bloomington. He is an Honorary Fellow and past president of the Comparative and International Education Society. He has written extensively on education and social change. His latest publications include Talent Abounds: profiles of master teachers and peak performers and the co-edited volume, Comparative Education: the dialectic of the global and the local (4th edn).

Karen L. Biraimah is a tenured professor of comparative education and Director of International and Special Programs at the University of Central Florida. She has served as a Fulbright Senior Scholar at the University of Malaya, Kenyatta University, Nairobi, and the University of Namibia. Prior to these experiences, Biraimah served as a Peace Corps volunteer teacher in Ghana and as a member of the Faculty of Education at the University of Ife, Nigeria. She is past-president of the Comparative and International Education Society, and her research interests focus on the effects of race/ethnicity, class, language and gender on educational equity within a comparative context.

Allison H. Blosser holds a PhD in Cultural and Educational Policy Studies from Loyola University Chicago. In the fall of 2016 she will be joining the School of Education at High Point University in North Carolina as an Assistant Professor of Educational Studies, Policy, and Culture. She also serves as co-chair of the Teaching Comparative Education Special Interest Group for the Comparative and International Educational Society. Her research examines the teaching of comparative education, multicultural education, diversity in private schools, and the global spread of market-based educational reforms.

Barry L. Bull is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy of Education and Education Policy Studies at Indiana University Bloomington. His research and teaching focus on the moral and political justification of public policies in education. He has published on such subjects as standards-based school reform, government control of schools, school finance, civic education, teacher professional development, the professionalization of teaching, and education for the gifted and talented. His books include The Ethics of Multicultural and Bilingual Education, Learning Together: professional development for better schools and Social Justice in Education: an introduction.

Michael Crossley is Professor of Comparative and International Education, a former Director of the Doctor of Education Programme (Bristol and Hong Kong), Director of the Centre for Comparative and International Research in Education at the Graduate School of Education, and Director of the Education in Small States Research Group (www.smallstates.net), University of Bristol, UK. Professor Crossley is a former editor of the journal Comparative Education and former chair of the British Association for International and Comparative Education (BAICE). He is currently Adjunct Professor of Education at the University of the South Pacific, and is an elected Fellow, FAcSS, of the British Academy of Social Sciences.

Erwin H. Epstein is Professor Emeritus at Loyola University Chicago. He is a former president of the Comparative and International Education Society and of the World Council of Comparative Education Societies, and is a past editor of the Comparative Education Review. He is editor of Crafting a Global Field: six decades of the Comparative and International Education Society, scheduled for publication in 2016 by Springer/Comparative Education Research Centre at the University of Hong Kong.

Irving Epstein is the Ben and Susan Rhodes Professor of Peace and Social Justice at Illinois Wesleyan University, where he chairs the Department of Educational Studies and directs the Center for Human Rights and Social Justice. He has written widely on children’s rights and youth-related issues and has most recently edited The Whole World is Texting: youth protest in the information age (Pittsburgh Studies in Comparative and International Education; Rotterdam: Sense, 2015).

Sabine Hornberg, Dr. phil. habil., is Professor in School Pedagogy and General Didactics in the Context of Heterogeneity and Director of the Institute for General Didactics and School Pedagogy at the Technical University of Dortmund, Germany. She has been active in comparative and international education for many years and was president of the section ‘International and Intercultural Comparative Education’ (SIIVE) in the German Association of Educational Research (GERA)/(Deutsche Gesellschaft für Erziehungswissenschaft (DGfE). Her research interests focus on education and schools in the process of internationalization, transnational educational spaces, intercultural education, teaching and learning in the context of heterogeneity, and empirical research.

Patricia K. Kubow is Professor in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies and Curriculum and Instruction at Indiana University. She is also director of the Center for International Education, Development and Research (CIEDR) in the Indiana University School of Education. Her research interests focus on the comparative study of global-local constructions of democracy, citizen identity and formal education in sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East. Her scholarship has received distinguished research awards from the American Educational Research Association and the Association of Teacher Educators. Kubow’s co-authored textbook with Paul R. Fossum, Comparative Education: exploring issues in international context, is used in schools of education around the world. Kubow is co-chair of the Teaching Comparative Education Special Interest Group of the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) and is also a member of the CIES Publications Committee.

Maria Manzon is a research scientist at the National Institute of Education (NIE), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, where she is Research Convenor of NIE’s International and Comparative Studies Task Force. She is chair of the Admissions and New Societies Standing Committee of the World Council of Comparative Education Societies (WCCES). She is also an associate member of the Comparative Education Research Centre at the University of Hong Kong. Her research interests and publications focus on the theory, history and methodology of comparative education, as well as on parent involvement in education. She was co-editor of a volume of histories of comparative education societies (2007), and of another volume about comparative education in universities worldwide (2008). Her 2011 book entitled Comparative Education: the construction of a field has been acclaimed for its comprehensive approach and path-breaking conceptualisation.

Marcelo Parreira do Amaral is Professor of International and Comparative Education at the University of Münster. He is also president of the German Section for Intercultural, International and Comparative Education Research of the German Association of Education Research (SIIVE-DGfE). His main research interests include international comparative education, education policy, and international educational governance and its implications for educational trajectories, in particular issues of access to and equity in education. Among his latest publications is the edited volume Shaping the Futures of Young Europeans: education governance in eight European countries (Symposium Books, 2015).

David Phillips is Emeritus Professor of Comparative Education, University of Oxford, and an emeritus fellow of St Edmund Hall, Oxford. He is a fellow of the UK Social Sciences Academy and of the Royal Historical Society. A past chair of the British Association for International Education (BAICE), he has also served on the board of directors of the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES). He is the founder editor of the journal Research in Comparative and International Education, series editor of Oxford Studies in Comparative Education, and currently edits the journal Comparative Education. He served for twenty years as editor of the Oxford Review of Education. His latest book is The German Example: English interest in educational provision in Germany since 1800 (Continuum/Bloomsbury). His book with Michele Schweisfurth, Comparative and International Education: an introduction to theory, research, and practice (Bloomsbury, 2nd edn, 2014) is used in comparative education courses around the world.

Noah W. Sobe is Associate Professor of Cultural and Educational Policy Studies at Loyola University Chicago where he also directs the Center for Comparative Education. He is Vice-President (2015 16), President-Elect (2016 17) and President (2017 18) of the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES). His research examines the global circulation of educational policies and practices, and he takes a particular interest in the ways that schools function as contested sites of cultural production for the making up of people, peoples, societies and worlds. He also works on research methodologies in comparative education, specifically around how notions of context, the nation, transnationalism and globalization/the global can be reconceptualized. His work has appeared in journals such as Harvard Education Review, Current Issues in Comparative Education (CICE), Educational Theory and Paedagogica Historica.

Carlos Alberto Torres is Distinguished Professor of Education in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at the University of California-Los Angeles. He is also UNESCO Chair in Global Learning and Global Citizenship Education, Director of the Paulo Freire Institute, and President of the World Council of Comparative Education Societies (WCCES). His book First Freire: early writings in social justice education (New York: Teachers College Press, 2014) received the 2015 prestigious Cyril O. Houle Award for Outstanding Literature in Adult Education from the American Association of Adult and Continuing Education.

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