Comparative education: Who, what and why?

Robert Damian ADAMSON

Research output: Other contributionOther contributions


The use (and some argue abuse) of comparative education has become a prominent feature in policy-making and related processes, fuelled by the globalised nature of education characterised by increased technological, information and pedagogical transfer. Crossley and Jarvis (2000, p.261) have remarked both on “the exponential growth and widening of interest in international comparative research ” , and on “increased recognition of the cultural dimension of education” in recent times. The formation of larger international economic entities, geo-political shifts, the relative ease of international transportation, the development of information technology and the interest in international studies of student performance, have (amongst other factors) resulted in comparative education research often being used by policy-makers eager to find innovative solutions from elsewhere for apparently intransigent domestic problems. This talk is concerned with questions such as “Who uses comparative education?”, “What is the scope of the field?” and “Why are comparisons undertaken?” to discuss different epistemologies, methodologies and experiences in undertaking such studies. In the process, we were able to construct an overview of the field of comparative education.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2015


Adamson, B. (2015, September). Comparative education: Who, what and why?. Seminars conducted at the FED lunch research series 2015, University of Macau, Macau, China.


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