Comparative Education: Some Considerations of Method, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Comparative Education

Some Considerations of Method, 1st Edition

By Brian Holmes


202 pages

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Originally published in 1981. Presented here is a coherent theory of Comparative Education research, based on the traditions and innovations established by such pioneers as Joseph Lauwerys and Nicholas Hans. From the author’s substantive studies emerges a taxonomy for education based on Popper’s critical dualism, and a way of analysing problems based on Dewey's reflective thinking and the social change theories of people such as Marx, Ogben and Pareto. Models of formal organisations drawn from Talcott Parsons show how systems analyses can be made in comparative perspective and how the processes of policy formulation, adoption and implementation can be studied.

The use of ideal typical normative models illustrates how comparative educationists can penetrate aspects of man's socially created worlds. These techniques are exemplified in succinct models against which debates about education in Western Europe (Plato), the USA (Dewey) and the USSR (Marx, Engels and Lenin) can be analysed. Against the crude use of comparative arguments and transplantation of foreign practices, Dr Holmes suggests that problems should be analysed and the outcomes of hypothetical solutions or policies should be tested under identified national circumstances. The distinctive feature of this book is that it takes account of the debate among social scientists, rejects both induction and ethnomethodology as adequate in themselves and brings together the problem-solving approach favoured by American research workers and the hypothetico-deductive method of enquiry advocated by natural scientists such as Sir Peter Medawar and Sir John Eccles.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. Cultural Borrowing - Misconceived Comparative Education 2. Comparative Education, Scientific Method and Educational Planning 3. The Positivist Debate in Comparative Education - An Anglo-Saxon Perspective 4. A Framework for Analysis - ‘Critical Dualism’ (Conventionalism) 5. The Collection and Classification of Data - National Profiles 6. Ideal-Typical Normative Models 7. Plato’s Just Society 8. Dewey’s Reflective Man in a Changing Scientific Society 9. The Ideal-Typical Soviet Man. A Selected Guide to Ancillary Reading

About the Series

Routledge Library Editions: Comparative Education

Reissuing works originally published between 1962 and 1995, this collection is made up of volumes that examine insights and data from the practises and situation in one country or area when considering educational practice elsewhere. Many important educational questions are examined from this international and comparative perspective in these volumes. Countries represented here include Russia, the Caribbean, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand, China, France, Japan, Israel, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States. Many of the volumes look at the whole area of comparative education and its methods and theories, while one looks at the Unesco literacy program.

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