Why Researchers Compared Education Internationally 1994 – 2009 and What This Tells Us about Why We Do This Today


This paper is a systematic literature into the recent history of international comparative education research. I review the reasons given for comparing education internationally in the fifteen years leading up to 2009, discuss the different types of research conducted and identify patterns in terms of research conducted in different locations. This historical review gives an understanding of the changing academic and political values of this time and of how they impacted upon researchers motives and methods. It also provides a basis for reflection and understanding into changes in the comparative research discourse of the past five years. I developed a systematic approach to building this paper, using a structured intersecting model with multiple starting points, each of these beginning with a strategically chosen node: a significant journal or institution for example. I then systematically read and classified the comparative research undertaken, also investigating patterns in the most frequently cited references. Although I am framing this as historical research into the recent past, its intention is also to inform current dialogue by enabling reflection on the changing emphasise found in comparative research and enabling exploration of the broader social, cultural and political context of such changes. The conclusion to the study raises issues for debate regarding the opportunities and challenges of recognising a sense of international collegiality amongst teaching professionals and academics when the nature of comparative research by and into different nations has significant and consistent differences. This is fitting within the conference theme of 'international development and international dialogue'.

Author Information
James Underwood, University of Northampton & Cambridge University, UK

Paper Information
Conference: ACEID2016
Stream: Education for intercultural communication

This paper is part of the ACEID2016 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon