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The Content and Method of Comparative Education

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  • 1. The Content and Method of Comparative Education by Kandell (1955) Instructor: Che-Wei Lee ADMPS 3347 Comparative Education, Spring 2012 Thursday, 12 January 2012, 7:15-9:55 pm 4301 Wesley W. Posvar Hall University of Pittsburgh All Rights Reserved © 2012 by Che-Wei Lee 1
  • 2. Please first read the following paragraph and start deliberating what it means to you. We cannot wander at pleasure among the educational systems of the world, like a child strolling through a garden, and pick off a flower from one bush and some leaves from another, and then expect that if we stick what we have gathered into the soil at home, we shall have a living plant. (p. 9) All Rights Reserved © 2012 by Che-Wei Lee 2
  • 3. Agenda O Historical Background: An Era of Crisis O Education and Postwar Reconstruction O Scope and Meaning of Comparative Education O Intangible Forces in Education O Foundations of National Systems of Education O Comparative Education and Philosophy of Education O The War of Ideas O Education as an Instrument of National Welfare O Current Issues in Education All Rights Reserved © 2012 by Che-Wei Lee 3
  • 4. An Era of Crisis O World War II and Cold War O Relationship among Uncertainty, Instability, and Educational Progress O Scientific Advancement vs. Traditional Values O Forms of Government: Totalitarianism vs. Democracy O Economic Forces vs. Imperialist Exploitation O The best means: Education O Panning of Institutions O Distribution of the Privileges of Education All Rights Reserved © 2012 by Che-Wei Lee 4
  • 5. Education and Postwar Reconstruction O Priority: Economic Reconstruction and Financial Resources O Emerging Pattern of Educational Organization All Rights Reserved © 2012 by Che-Wei Lee 5
  • 6. Scope and Meaning of Comparative Education O Descriptive studies of comparative education: Basic materials for portray of the educational systems, e.g. class sizes, & curricula O Thick studies of comparative education : Penetrative insights, richly, beyond descriptive deconstruction of educational ideologies of the nations, e.g. Literacy for the political ends in the USSR, & Nazi doctrines of racism & militarism O Association between the control of education and nation’s culture pattern on the attitudes and modes of thinking of its members All Rights Reserved © 2012 by Che-Wei Lee 6
  • 7. Scope and Meaning of Comparative Education O Scope: International Scale O Members: worldwide representative professionals O Themes: the problem of examinations presents a serious difficulty in individual own education system (common problems/framework derived from their respective cultural differences) O Determinations for solutions: political, social, economic, & cultural forces All Rights Reserved © 2012 by Che-Wei Lee 7
  • 8. Argument of Comparative Education O Comparative education is concerned with the solution of which traditional cultural backgrounds and current political and social aims as well as economic forces will contribute more than any universal theory of education, since it seeks to analyze and compare the forces that make for differences between national systems of education, can only be done by starting with certain common concepts or problems (P. 8). All Rights Reserved © 2012 by Che-Wei Lee 8
  • 9. Intangible Forces in Education O Descriptive analyses of education systems are valuable, accurate, but fail to contribute to the breadth of approach to the problems of education limited by a narrow concept of education. O The student of comparative education must, as Sadler pointed out in a lecture delivered in 1900, “try to find out what is the intangible, impalpable spiritual force which, in the case of any successful system of education, is in reality upholding the school system and accounting for its present efficiency”(p. 9). All Rights Reserved © 2012 by Che-Wei Lee 9
  • 10. What is the intangible, impalpable spiritual force? O Sadler defined that “in studying foreign systems of education we should not forget that the things outside the schools matter even more than the things inside the schools, and govern and interpret the things inside” (p. 9). O Being sensitive to the contextualization, localization, & globalization (sometimes) of un/written studies (secret workings, unique recipe, or failings of national character) O Practical value of studying in a right spirit: being better fitted study and understand our own (p. 10). All Rights Reserved © 2012 by Che-Wei Lee 10
  • 11. Foundations of National Systems of Education O A national system of education cannot be established by borrowing a piece from one country, another from another and so on. O It is mixed with diversely direct or indirect influences by other countries. O A national system of education will have to grow out of its soil from the seeds of its cultural tradition. O The general principle that a national system of education must be inspired by “things outside the schools,” and that these things “govern and interpret the things inside the schools does not mean, however, that a nation cannot incorporate into its own sound ideas found in the educational systems of other countries (p. 11). O The process of cross-fertilization of ideas is the key. All Rights Reserved © 2012 by Che-Wei Lee 11
  • 12. Comparative Education and Philosophy of Education O Relationship: Learn to ask what, when, where, how, and why. O Contribution: it deals with fundamental principles and fosters the acquisition of a philosophic attitude in analyzing and therefore stimulating a clearer understanding of the problems of education. O Make educators better able to enter into the spirit and tradition of the educational system of his own nation. What about other nations? O Serve as a challenge to examine the roots of the educational system of one’s won nation. O The comparison helps to bring into sharp focus the similarities and differences between systems of education. All Rights Reserved © 2012 by Che-Wei Lee 12
  • 13. The War of Ideas O Ideology: totalitarianism vs. demoracy All Rights Reserved © 2012 by Che-Wei Lee 13
  • 14. Education as an Instrument of National Welfare O The nature of the factors and forces outside the school must be studied to understand the characteristics of an educational system as it is and as it changes. O The progress and expansion of education as the foundation of social stability and intelligent citizenship have become the concern of the largest social political unit in every country – the state. O Good question: to the degree to which the powers of the state should be used, and to what extent the control of education should be centralized or decentralized. All Rights Reserved © 2012 by Che-Wei Lee 14
  • 15. Current Issues in Education O How to determine the aims of education? O Depends the degree of freedom and authority permitted in a system of education as well as the free flow of ideas and the adaptation to new needs as they are arisen. O The solution of which socioeconomic changes and educational theory have the answer, but the realization of that answer in practice is dependent upon the nature of the controls and their location – whether the determination of education issues is entirely in the hands of the state or whether the public can express its opinions freely. All Rights Reserved © 2012 by Che-Wei Lee 15
  • 16. Conclusion O Good attitudes for the study of comparative education that I would like to encourage one another mutually below. O A study of these problems and issues and of the ways in which they are, if not solved, at least dealt with will be a contribution to a philosophic attitude toward the wide field of interest covered by the term organization of education, and to quote Sadler, to make us better able to enter into the spirit of our own national education (pp. 16-17). All Rights Reserved © 2012 by Che-Wei Lee 16
  • 17. Conclusion O The fact that this is an era of transition when plans for the future development of education are more easily discussed than capable of being carried out renders the study of comparative education all the more valuable as stimulus to thought. O No system of education anywhere, not even in the United States, has reached a stage of equilibrium (What about now? Who wants to share the current status? ); all are in a state of becoming and the directions, aims, and forms constitute the materials for the study of comparative education. All Rights Reserved © 2012 by Che-Wei Lee 17
  • 18. Discussion O Notice the context and era of this article. O What are the points of Kandel’s arguments impressed you a lot? O What are your imagination for the comparative education study before and after reading Kandel’s piece? O What is the purpose of the study of comparative education? O Based on Kandel’s (1955) article, does a comparative study compare the differences or similarities? Why or why not? O Is it correct to interpret that comparative education study only care about the successful cases? Why or why not? How to see the ineffective cases? O Rethink the meanings of that paragraph I showed you previously. O How do we distinguish the differences between “borrow” and “copy” in comparative education terms? O Share some elements you consider important when conducting a comparative education study that is not included in Kandel’s paper. All Rights Reserved © 2012 by Che-Wei Lee 18
  • 19. Reference Kandell, Isaac L. 1955. “The Content and Method of Comparative Education.” In The New Era in Education: A Comparative Study, 3—17. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co. All Rights Reserved © 2012 by Che-Wei Lee 19

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