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Special Interest Group

Comparative and International Education

Comparative and International Education is a vast, rich, and growing field of inquiry that is concerned with the academic study of a wide range of key educational issues and themes across a range of cultures, countries and regions. Comparativists come from a range of disciplinary backgrounds and therefore come to the field with different subject expertise and ideas about how best to conduct research in the field. There has been much debate over the theoretical, epistemological and methodological frameworks and tools that should be used when carrying out research in comparative and international education as well as discussions over the future directions of the field. The SIG welcomes interest and contributions on these important debates.

Examples of issues that have been researched by our SIG members include (but are not at all limited to): EU education policy; citizenship and human rights education; global education policy; students’ and teachers’ identities; learning and teaching; assessment and achievement; effects of gender, race and social class on learning and achievement; textbook research; parental choice; international schools and intercultural education; education in developing countries.

Evidently, much of our research fits in comfortably with other SIGs, but what we are all essentially concerned with as Comparativists is exploring similarities and differences between the structures, processes, dynamics, policies and practices of different education systems. Much of the work we do is also international in nature. We strongly encourage BERA members whose work fits in to this field to join the SIG and contribute to knowledge exchange, especially through submitting abstracts to BERA conferences. We stress the importance of learning from comparing and remind members of the important words stated by Robert Edward Hughes (1901: 52) in his seminal text ‘Schools at Home and Abroad’ that ‘the basis of all knowledge is comparison’.

Aims

  • to provide a forum within BERA for academics, practitioners and students from a range of disciplines who are involved in research in comparative and international education to engage in dialogue and debate, share theoretical and empirical research, and exchange knowledge and ideas
  • to raise the profile of comparative and international education through the annual conference and by hosting seminars
  • to encourage the publication of high quality research papers within BERJ and other journals

SIG Convenors

Olga Mun

Doctoral Student at University of Oxford

Born and raised in Kazakhstan, Olga grew up in a multi-ethnic Russo-Korean family. Her positionality as a researcher with an interest in comparative and international education with a focus on post-Soviet education is informed by her...

Alexander Gardner-McTaggart, Dr

Lecturer at University of Manchester

I joined the University of Manchester in January 2019 as course director of the Masters degree in Educational Leadership in Practice. My research seeks to better understand globalising pressures on education and its leadership through the lens of...

Pinky Jain, Dr

Senior Lecturer at University of Worcester

Pinky is passionate about education, especially the professional development of trainee teachers and the teaching of maths in schools. Pinky taught in a range of schools and HEIs before joining the University in 2011 where she joined an...

Nicola Savvides, Dr

Senior Lecturer in International Education at University of Bath

I am a Senior Lecturer in International Education and joined the Department for Education at the University of Bath in September 2017. I am Director of Studies for the MA International Education and Globalisation and teach across several...