Comparative and International Education

Shoko YAMADA Professor

Department: Graduate School of International Development

Class Time: 2016 Spring Thursday
Recommended for: Graduate Students majoring in International Development

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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.

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close Syllabus


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
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.

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Page last updated February 23, 2017

The class contents were most recently updated on the date indicated. Please be aware that there may be some changes between the most recent year and the current page.

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