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Comparing Futures or Comparing Pasts?

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This article, firstly and briefly, suggests that there is no single or unified 'comparative education' but that there are multiple comparative educations. How may such a variety of comparative educations be distinguished? Rather more importantly and secondly, what might an 'interesting' comparative education constructed in universities look like, and on what criteria would it be interesting? The specific suggestion offered here is that at least one kind of comparative education, for a decade or so, should concentrate on exploring moments of educational metamorphosis, rather than assuming that the equilibrium conditions and the dynamic linearities of development of educational systems can be predicted. Thus for the moment the correct answer to the question, how far can we learn anything of practical value from the study of foreign educational systems is: 'not a lot'. The correct question is, why have we as scholars taken that question so seriously for so long?
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2000

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