Led On Line
Presentazione - About us
Novita' - What's new
E-Journals
E-books
Lededizioni Home Page Ricerca - Search
Catalogo - Catalogue
Per contattarci - Contacts
Per gli Autori - For the Authors
Statistiche - Statistics
Cookie Policy
Privacy Policy

The Problem of Context in Comparative Education Research

Noah W. Sobe, Jamie Kowalczyk

Abstract


This paper argues that comparative education researchers – and education researchers generally – should pay more attention to how they conceptualize the Context(s) of schools and education systems. The construction of «the research context» is caught up in the mobilization of norms, power relations, regulative principles, technologies and strategies. Ascriptions of Context can operate as externally imposed categories that enclose, disable, and deny access to resources, opportunities, agency, and subject positions. In like measure, inscriptions of Context can sometimes enable, increase access and generally privilege particular cultural groups or particular social settings. This paper offers methodological strategies for analytically approaching the problem of Context in educational research. We propose that challenge is to understand how Context is part of an interweaving process with an object/objects within an assemblage that is ever changing. The «entangled analysis» approach (Sobe, forthcoming) advanced here attends to the constructed and constructing quality of Context. And it necessarily brings the researcher into the problematic, as she too is continually within the power/knowledge relations that make Contexts meaningful and consequential. We are argue that «contextualizing» a study should not be merely a preparatory activity but should carry across the entirety of a research project. Rather than beginning with standardized Contextual categories researchers should seek to understand the confluence of practices and objects that are coming together as well as constantly flowing and changing.


Keywords


Comparative education; Research methodology; Educational context; Globalization; Scale; Contesto educativo; Educazione comparata; Globalizzazione; Metodologia di ricerca

Full Text:

PDF

References


Bachelard, G. (1949). Le rationalisme appliqué (transl. by R. Nice). Paris: PUF.

Bray, M., Adamson, B., & Mason, M. (2007). Comparative education research approaches and methods. Hong Kong: CERC.

Bray, M., & Thomas, R. M. (1995). Levels of comparison in educational studies: Different insights from different literatures and the value of multilevel analyses. Harvard Education Review, 65(3), 472-490.

Cowen, R. (2006). Acting comparatively upon the educational world: Puzzles and possibilities. Oxford Review of Education, 32(5) 561-573.

Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1987). A thousand plateaus. Capitalism and schizophrenia. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Dilley, R. (1999). The problem of context. New York: Berghahn Books.

Foucault, M. (1971). The order of things: An archaeology of the human sciences. New York: Pantheon Books.

Foucault, M. (1980). Truth and power. Power/knowledge: Selected interviews & other writings, 1972-1977 (pp. 109-133). New York: Pantheon Books.

Greene, B. (2004). The fabric of the cosmos. Space, time, and the texture of reality. New York: Knopf.

Hacking, I. (1999). The social construction of what? Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Jones, P. (2010). The politics of the economics of education in the European Union. European Educational Research Journal, 9(3), 359-380.

Kowalczyk, J. (in press). Transgression and democratic convivenza. An analysis of Italian school policy and the discourse of integration. Education et Sociétés.

Kowalczyk, J., & Popkewitz, T. S. (2005). Multiculturalism, recognition and abjection. (Re)mapping Italian identity. Policy Futures in Education, 3(4), 423-435.

Latour, B. (2004). The politics of nature. How to bring the sciences into democracy (transl. by C. Porter). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Luzzatto, S. (2011). Il crocifisso di stato. Turin: Giulio Einaudi.

Marcus, G. E., & Saka, E. (2006). Assemblage. Theory, Culture & Society, 23(2-3), 101-106.

Meyer, J., Boli, J., Thomas, G., & Ramirez, F. (1997). World society and the nation state. The American Journal of Sociology, 103(1), 144-181.

Ong, A. (2008). Scales of exception: Experiments with knowledge and sheer life in tropical Southeast Asia. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography, 29, 117-129.

Ong, A., & Collier, S. J. (2005). Global assemblages. Technology, politics, and ethics as anthropological problems. Malden, MA: Blackwell.

Poovey, M. (1995). Making a social body. British cultural formation, 1830-1864. Chicago: Universityof Chicago Press.

Rose, N. (1999). Powers of freedom. Reframing political thought. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Sassen, S. (2008). Neither global nor national. Novel assemblages of territory, authority and rights. Ethics & Global Politics, 1(1-2), 61-79.

Sassen, S. (forthcoming). Global formations. In T. Seddon, J. Ozga, & J. Levin (Eds.), World yearbook of education, 2013. Educators, professionalism and Politics: Global transitions, national spaces and professional politics. London:

Institute of Education.

Schriewer, J. (2000). World-system and interrelationship-networks. In T. S. Popkewitz (Ed.), Educational knowledge (pp. 305-342). Albany, NY: Suny.

Sobe, N. W. (in press). Entanglement and transnationalism in the history of American education. In T. S. Popkewitz (Ed.), (Re)visioning the history of education. An intercontinental perspective on the questions, methods and knowledge of schools. New York: Palgrave.

Sobe, N. W. (2012). Educational accountability and global governmentality. In G. Steiner-Khamsi & F. Waldrow (Eds.), World yearbook of education, 2012. Policy borrowing and lending (pp. 80-94). London: Institute of Education.

Sobe, N. W., & Fisher, M. (2009). Mobility, migration and minorities in education. In R. Cowen & A. Kazamias (Eds.), International handbook of comparative education (pp. 359-371). New York: Springer.

Stäheli, U. (2003). The outside of the global. The New Centennial Review, 3(2) 1-22.

Taubman, P. (2009). Teaching by numbers. Deconstructing the discourse of standards and accountability in education. New York: Routledge.

Tsing, A. (2000). The global situation. Cultural Anthropology, 15(3), 327-360.

Vavrus, F., & Bartlett, L. (2009). Critical approaches to comparative education: Vertical case studies from Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and the Americas. New York: Palgrave.

Werner, M., & Zimmermann, B. (2006) Beyond comparison: Histoire croisée and the challenge of reflexivity. History & Theory, 45, February, 30-50.




DOI: https://doi.org/10.7358/ecps-2012-006-sobe



 


Journal of Educational, Cultural and Psychological Studies (ECPS)
Registered by Tribunale di Milano (19/05/2010 n. 278)
Online ISSN 2037-7924 - Print ISSN 2037-7932

Research Laboratory on Didactics and Evaluation - Department of Education - "Roma Tre" University


Executive Editor: Gaetano Domenici - Managing  Editor: Valeria Biasci
Editorial Board: Giuditta Alessandrini - Eleftheria Argyropoulou - Massimo Baldacci - Joao Barroso - Richard Bates - Christofer Bezzina - Paolo Bonaiuto - Lucia Boncori - Pietro Boscolo - Sara Bubb  - Carlo Felice Casula - Jean-Émile Charlier - Lucia Chiappetta Cajola - Carmela Covato - Jean-Louis Derouet - Peter Early - Franco Frabboni - Constance Katz - James Levin - Pietro Lucisano  - Roberto Maragliano - Romuald Normand - Michael Osborne - Donatella Palomba - Michele Pellerey - Clotilde Pontecorvo - Vitaly V. Rubtzov - Jaap Scheerens - Noah W. Sobe - Francesco Susi - Giuseppe Spadafora - Pat Thomson
Editorial Staff: Fabio Alivernini - Guido Benvenuto - Anna Maria Ciraci - Massimiliano Fiorucci - Luca Mallia - Massimo Margottini - Giovanni Moretti - Carla Roverselli 
Editorial Secretary:
Nazarena Patrizi