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 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.
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
May 12: Social theories (1) Reproduction, World-system theories
May 19: Theories (2) Functionalism and criticism against functionalism
May 26: Class not offered
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
Apprenticeship, industry, and schooling
Skills for survival and skills for economic development
Life skills (knowledge of environment, health/nutrition/sanitation)
June 30: Social meanings of knowledge (2): Literacy
Literacy in which language?
Literacy for income generation
Literacy for empowerment
Rural life, urban life, and utility of literacy
July 7: Class not offered
July 14: Presentation of term papers
Preparation/ Class participation 50%
Every week, students will be provided with reading assignments. Students are expected to read through them and email their opinions about the issues raised in the readings to all the class members before coming to the class. Any opinion is fine but students who did not post message(s) will be considered inactive in participation. In the class, the instructor will lead the discussion based on the opinions posted via emails.
Individual paper 50%
Students are assigned to write a research proposal to apply for a research grant by an imaginary educational research institute. The details will be explained later in the class. The deadline of the paper submission is July 22nd, one week after the last class.