Imagining the Future of Global Education examines the Grand Educational Narrative (GEN) and the major institutions that shape and disseminate it. The book focuses on national visions of education and the imaginary futures that nations seek to make reality. It critiques how the GEN policy implementation process frequently turns dreams of upward mobility into nightmares. In this way, the book takes a distinctly different approach than most comparative and international education studies. Rather than being oriented toward the past and asking how education systems around the world ended up where they are, chapters in this volume seek an understanding of how various educational visions from around the world inform the present and shape the future.
Following an introductory summary of important concepts from scholarship on "imaginary futures" and global education reform, the book is organized around three themes: "What Dreams are Made Of," illustrating, through three case studies, what the GEN looks like at the national level and how it operates across national boundaries; "A Dream within a Dream," considering some of the more novel trends in international education reform in order to provide insight into how dreams seem to function; and "Keeping Dreams from becoming Nightmares," comprising three thematic essays that describe trends in education policy in one or more countries. The book concludes with lessons for scholars and policymakers.
Introduction by the Editors
Part One: What Dreams Are Made Of
1 Education and the American Dream: Hoping One Black Box Holds the Key to the Other Brian Gearin
2 Multiple Spheres of Influence: Who Influenced Australia’s Education Revolution?
3 Not All GERMS Make You Sick: Education Reform in Brazil
Part Two: A Dream within a Dream
4 First to the Finnish Line
Jonathan Rochelle and Pam Lybarger
5 Can Qatar Buy Sustainable Educational Excellence?
6 Educating for the Chinese Dream(s)
Gaoming Zhang, Shiqing Liu, Xiaoli Cui, and Xiao Xu
Part Three: Keeping Dreams from becoming Nightmares
7 Guarding the Past or Inventing the Future: Education Reforms in East Asia
Yong Zhao and Yurou Wang
8 Educating for Nationalism in an Age of Educating for Economic Growth
Brian Gearin, Suraiya Abdul Hameed, Morgan Christensen, and Michael Thier
9 Education in the Shadow of Superintelligence
Conclusions by the Editors
'Imagining the Future of Global Education: Dreams and Nightmares by Yong Zhao and Brian Gearin is a powerful commentary on the contemporary educational landscape. It is a welcome departure from the dominant discourse about high performing systems and their various attributions. It offers critical, informed and incisive analytical commentary about the current mythology surrounding global educational performance or 'the dreams and nightmares'. This book could not have not come at a better time. It is a must read for those charged with educational change at all levels in the system. It is an essential read for those seeking new and refreshing perspectives on local and global education. It is a much-needed reality check about what is worth pursuing in the name of global education and what is not.'–Dr. Alma Harris FRSA, Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy, University of Bath
'This is a unique and impressive book. If you think you have read enough comparative analysis of global education and look for something that would be more than speculations about correlations in educational change, read this book. It offers a refreshing look at visions of education reforms and argues that they need to be inspiring in order to be effective.'–Pasi Sahlberg, author of Finnish Lessons 2.0 and FinnishED Leadership