The book draws upon an exciting collection of original research carried out in a diversity of educational systems from British, European, Latin American, Indian Ocean, South Asian, African and Chinese contexts and cultures. This develops a deep and innovative reconsideration of key issues that must be faced by all researchers involved in the planning and conduct of in-depth field research. This is a challenging and stimulating methodological contribution, designed to advance critical and reflective thinking while providing practical and accessible guidance, insights and support for new and experienced researchers within and beyond the field of comparative and international education.
Contributors are drawn from a wide range of professional and academic backgrounds representing national governments, international agencies, research bodies, policy makers, researchers and practitioners. All have extensive first-hand experience of the issues and contexts that they deal with. Together they report upon original field research, theoretically informed analyses, political perspectives and recent professional and practical experience. Specific national contexts considered in depth include the European states of Estonia, Poland and Germany, the new Republic of South Africa, contemporary Brazil, the transitional phases of Hong Kong and Macau as ‘remnants of empire’, and the small states of Eritrea and Belize. In broad scope the volume highlights the tensions that exist between powerful global agendas and efforts to improve the quality and relevance of educational provision in vastly different sociocultural contexts. As such, the book will be of direct interest to a wide range of researchers, students, policy makers, consultants and development agency personnel involved with comparative and international studies in education and across the social sciences.
Contributors explore the impact of key issues such as marketisation, accountability and globalisation upon policy and practice world-wide. They explore how new challenges faced by the social sciences have seen shifts in the contexts, issues and priorities attended to by comparatives and how different approaches to comparative education have influenced the intellectual and professional identities and positioning of those involved.
Bridging theoretically oriented scholarship with empirically grounded research relating to issues of policy and practice and with chapters addressing questions of relevance throughout the world, this book is an invaluable resource of ideas and stimuli for further thinking and research.