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Teaching (some) Basic Concepts of Comparative Education Using the Game of Life

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This paper reports the use of a computer simulation as a metaphor for educational institutions and the behaviour of those engaged in education. Using Conway’s ‘Game of Life’, a cellular automaton, can be a useful pedagogic tool for highlighting some aspects of comparison, and offer an insight into why a diversity of methodological approaches survive concurrently in the field. This discussion is set in the context of a suggestion made by Eckstein (1983) that many of the metaphors that are routinely used in educational studies are ‘simple, overworked, derivative and limiting’.
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Keywords: metaphor; modelling; teaching comparative education

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2018

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  • World Studies in Education is a bi-annual, refereed, international journal offering a global overview of significant international and comparative education research. Its focus is on educational reforms and policy affecting institutions in the global economy.
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