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Cross-national Attraction in Education
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Oxford Studies in Comparative Education

Cross-national Attraction in Education

accounts from England and Germany


2006 paperback 220 pages, £30.00, ISBN 978-1-873927-65-6

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About the book

The comparison and borrowing of national policies is a widespread phenomenon in all major policy areas. In education, the PISA study has resulted in a renewed interest in cross-national comparison and reception of policies. In particular, the unexpectedly low results of Germany in the PISA study have sparked increased interest in educational policies and practice elsewhere. The chapters cover a wide variety of educational sectors: vocational education and training, preparation for career choice, citizenship education, secondary and higher education, teacher training and language learning policy. These chapters are framed by more general accounts of the influence of foreign educational reform on national reform agendas and the German reaction to the results of the PISA study. This book provides insights into educational policy formation and implementation of policies into educational practice in England and Germany from a comparative perspective, and is aimed at academics, students, policy makers and the wider public with an interest in the latest developments in the long-standing mutual interest in educational matters in the two countries.


John Furlong. Foreword

Hubert Ertl & Robert Cowen. Introduction

Val D. Rust. Foreign Influences in Educational Reform

Alexandra Dehmel. Reforming Initial Training of Teachers in the Vocational Education and Training Sector? Issues, Challenges and Developments in England and Germany

H.-Hugo Kremer & Stephanie Wilde. What Do You Want to Be? Developing Career Choice Competence

Dina Kuhlee. Regulation in Vocational Education: implications for comparisons between Germany and England

Hubert Ertl. The Overseas Case as a Political Argument: the reception of NVQs (National Vocational Qualifications) in Germany

Carole Hahn. Citizenship Education and Youth Attitudes: views from England, Germany, and the United States

Elizabeth A. McLeish. Unification and Schooling in Thüringen: the perpetuation of selection

Nina Arnhold. The Academic Profession in Germany: some remarks about the employment conditions of professors in the context of the Dienstrechtsreform

Wolfgang Mitter. Language Policies and Language Conflicts and their Impacts on Education Systems in Europe: retrospect and perspectives

Karl Heinz Gruber. The German ‘PISA-Shock’: some aspects of the extraordinary impact of the OECD’s PISA study on the German education system


Nina Arnhold works as a Senior Programme Manager for the European University Association (EUA) in Brussels where she is mainly concerned with quality assurance and Bologna reforms. Before joining EUA, she worked for the Boston Consulting Group and the Centre for Higher Education Development (CHE), a subsidiary of the Bertelsmann Foundation and the German Rectors’ Conference, where she was involved in various projects focusing on strategic planning, the merging of higher education institutions, access issues and the reform of employment structures at universities.

Robert Cowen is Emeritus Professor of Education in the Institute of Education, University of London, and currently a Senior Visiting Research Fellow in the Department of Education, University of Oxford and the President of the Comparative Education Society in Europe. His research interests include comparative studies of higher education, as well as a concern for the theoretical assumptions of a range of comparative educations.

Alexandra Dehmel works as a research assistant at the Department of Business and Human Resource Education, University of Paderborn in Germany. Her research interests include vocational education and training, comparative and international education, European Union educational policies, lifelong learning and teachers’ professional development.

Hubert Ertl is a university lecturer in higher education at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Linacre College, Oxford. His research interests are in international aspects of higher education, vocational education and training, European Union educational policies, and the transfer processes between education and training and the world of work.

Karl Heinz Gruber held until recently the chair of Comparative Education at the University of Vienna, Austria. As an educational policy analyst, he has been investigating the ‘comprehensive issue’, upper secondary education, teacher training and higher education for more than 30 years. He has a particular interest in the education systems of Sweden, the United Kingdom and Japan.

Carole Hahn is the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Educational Studies at Emory University in Atlanta, USA. She was the US National Research Coordinator for the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) Civic Education Study and is an author of What Democracy Means to Ninth-graders: US results from the international IEA Civic Education Study. Her book, Becoming Political: comparative perspectives on citizenship education, and monograph, Educating a Changing Population: challenges for schools, examine issues of citizenship education in five multicultural democracies. Professor Hahn is a Past President of the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS).

H.-Hugo Kremer is a professor at the Department of Human Resource Education at the University of Paderborn. His main research topics are e-learning in vocational education, educational change and collaborative learning.

Dina Kuhlee is a PhD student at Humboldt University, Berlin. Her research focus lies in the area of vocational education, with particular reference to the state, the market and networks as mechanisms of coordination in educational systems. Furthermore, she is interested in aspects of transfer between education and work and in European Union educational policies.

Elizabeth McLeish is an independent Educational and Management Consultant and also holds an Adjunct Assistant Professorship at the University of Victoria in Canada where she lectures in mathematics, leadership studies and comparative education. Her primary research interests are in comparative education, mathematics education, organisational leadership and administration, and educational transition in the context of political transition.

Wolfgang Mitter is an Emeritus Professor at the German Institute for International Educational Research and at the University of Frankfurt am Main (Germany). His research and teaching fields are comparative education, educational politics and history of education. He was President of the Comparative Education Society in Europe (1981–85) and of the World Council of Comparative Education Societies (1991–96).

Val D. Rust is Professor of Comparative Education at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the Director of the UCLA Education Abroad Program. His books include The Unification of German Education (1995), Education and the Values Crisis in Central and Eastern Europe (1995), and Toward Schooling for the Twenty-first Century (1997).

Stephanie Wilde is based at the Department of Educational Studies, University of Oxford, where she works on the Nuffield Review of 14–19 Education and Training. Prior to that, she worked at the University of Hannover, Germany, and completed a post-doctoral study of citizenship education in Germany, supported by the Humboldt Foundation.

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