Comparative and International Education

A dinosaur
LecturerShoko YAMADA, Professor
DepartmentGraduate School of International Development, 2016 Spring
Recommended for:Graduate Students majoring in International Development (2週1回全15回)

Purpose and Description

The main objective of this course is to know and discuss about various perspectives on the meanings and functions of education in the society and for individual learners. For that objective, the students will be exposed to the research paradigms, methodologies, and issues of comparative education and relevant academic fields. While the course in the fall semester focused on school-based education, this course in spring semester will look at educational phenomena in the wider socio-economic, cultural, and political pictures. The questions to be raised include: What does it mean to educate people? And how is it interpreted from different perspectives?

In the first few sessions, the methodologies and theories will be reviewed as the basis of social analysis of education. Then, the following sessions will deal with issues regarding schooling, knowledge, and learning. There is no knowledge which is value-free. Knowledge taught in the official textbooks either. Therefore, in this class, students are expected to acquire the attitude to consider the meanings of education from comparative and multiple perspectives.


April 14: Introduction

  • Structure of the course

  • Why do we conduct international educational research?

April 21: Comparative education as an academic field

  • What is comparative education?

  • Ways of thinking, phenomena, and the methods to investigate

April 28: Social theories and education

  • From modernization to Basic Human Needs and Self-help

  • Education as a reproduction mechanism

  • Diploma disease

  • Hidden curriculum

  • Socialization

May 12: Social theories (1) Reproduction, World-system theories

May 19: Theories (2) Functionalism and criticism against functionalism

June 2: Theories (3) Human Capital Theory and criticism against it

June 9: Theories (4): Critical Pedagogy and the theory of de-schooling

June 16: Theories (5) Learner-centered education - experientialism and existentialism

June 23: Theories (6) Learner-centered education - developmental psychology

June 30: Social meanings of knowledge (1): Skills

  • Multiple channels of acquiring skills


Preparation for the class discussion 30%

  • The preparation includes (1) reading the assigned articles / book chapters; (2) submitting comment papers in response to the questions given by the instructor

Class participation 30%

  • In the class, the instructor will lead the discussion based on the opinions raised in students' comment papers.

Individual paper 40%

  • Students are assigned to write a paper on educational issues in relation to one or some of the theories learned in the class. The details will be explained later. The deadline of the paper submission is July 31, 2015.

Last updated

May 08, 2020