North American Scholars of Comparative Education : Examining the Work and Influence of Notable 20th Century Comparativists book cover
1st Edition

North American Scholars of Comparative Education
Examining the Work and Influence of Notable 20th Century Comparativists

Edited By

Erwin H. Epstein

ISBN 9781032091433
Published June 30, 2021 by Routledge
220 Pages

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Book Description

This book brings together fifteen comprehensive studies of significant North American scholars of comparative education from the 20th century. Providing relevant biographical detail, chapters analyse each scholar’s approach to comparative education and their on-going influences on the field.

Comparative studies in education have long benefited from the work of significant individuals who have collectively advanced the field, making it a vibrant and intellectually fruitful area of educational research. Offering a unique, systematic exploration of the work of the founders of comparative educational research, North American Scholars of Comparative Education emphasizes the importance of understanding the accomplishments of key historical figures in the field, and considers the legacies such individuals have created. Chapters move beyond descriptions of comparativists’ work, to illustrate the pivotal role played by each scholar in driving a progression through humanistic and scientific approaches, to new epistemological traditions within the field of comparative education. This in turn reveals critical historical-epistemological transitions which have had lasting impacts on the field.

Including contributions written by leading scholars in the field, this volume will be of great interest to researchers, academics and scholars in comparative and international education.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

List of Contributors


Introduction: Unleashing the Power of Biographies to Shape a Narrative on Perspectives in Transition - Erwin H. Epstein

Part I The policy-oriented humanistic tradition in comparative education

Chapter 1: John Dewey - Regina Cortina

Chapter 2: Paul Monroe - Liping Bu

Chapter 3: Isaac Leon Kandel - J. Wesley Null

Chapter 4: William W. Brickman - Erwin H. Epstein

Chapter 5: George Z.F. Bereday - Justyna Wojniak and David Post

Part II The social scientific tradition in comparative education

Chapter 6: C. Arnold Anderson - Erwin H. Epstein

Chapter 7: Phillip J. Foster - Stephen P. Heyneman

Chapter 8: Mary Jean Bowman - David N. Plank

Chapter 9: Donald K. Adams - John C. Weidman

Chapter 10: Joseph P. Farrell - Karen Mundy

Part III New perspectives and methods in comparative education

Chapter 11: Gail Paradise Kelly - Vandra Lea Masemann

Chapter 12: Rolland G. Paulston - Brian Denman and W. James Jacob 

Chapter 13: Heidi Ann Ross - Irving Epstein

Chapter 14: Gerald H. Read - Martha C. Merrill

Chapter 15: Claude Andrew Eggertsen - Robert F. Lawson

Conclusion: Harnessing Disparate Perspectives on Ways of Knowing for an Uncertain Future - Erwin H. Epstein

Selected Further Readings


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Erwin H. Epstein is Emeritus Professor of Cultural and Educational Policy Studies at Loyola University Chicago. He is the author of numerous publications and was formerly president of the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) and editor of the Comparative Education Review.


"Intellectual histories tell us about the past so as to enable us to think about the future. As the present role of education and its future is more doubtful than ever, teasing out the insights of the scholars covered in this volume will contribute to our overall understandings of the relations between education and society in different contexts."

Esther E. Gottlieb, The Ohio State University USA, Comparative and International Education Society Historian

"This text is of major importance as a contribution to understanding the history of comparative education and to sharpening contemporary debates. The book will go straight into the category of ‘unavoidable reading’ for specialists in comparative education. The volume will be a source of marvellous teaching material for bringing the field of study alive for students. Overall, the book can be warmly welcomed as a major contribution to our history and welcomed for its accounts of the careers of some distinguished comparative educationists."

Robert Cowen, UCL, UK

"Overall, this book produces an accurate picture of comparative education’s transition from a humanistic to a social scientific orientation, finally arriving at the new perspectives and methods of the late twentieth century. By exploring relevant biographical stories, the authors vividly illustrate each scholar’s contribution to each transition phase. Above all, this book is not only of interest to researchers in the comparative and international education field, but also to those keen to understand the modernisation of education internationally, which was largely promoted by the United States."

Hongyan Chen, East China Normal University, reviewed in