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Development Studies and Comparative Education: context, content, comparison and contributors

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This article reviews Comparative Education over the past 20 years, explores the parallel literature of development studies, and identifies future directions and challenges for comparative education. Using Parkyn (1977) as a benchmark, an analysis of articles published between 1977 and 1998 suggests that only a small proportion appear to meet his criteria for comparative education. Parkyn's purpose for comparative education, to increase our understanding of the relationship between education and the development of human society, is shared by development studies. Educational writings within development studies have explored the meanings of development and underdevelopment and have raised important questions about the unit of analysis for comparative education. Several reasons are advanced to explain the separate development of these literatures. The contemporary challenge of globalisation presents fresh opportunities and challenges for both literatures. A shared commitment to understanding the role of education in the globalisation process and the reasoned response to it could form the heart of a shared effort in the future. Globalisation also highlights the need for more effective dialogue between comparative educators in different corners of the globe.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2000

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