Comparative Education

 

The Scientific Dimension

Torres and Arnove (2007) explain that a major goal of comparative education is to build theories in a series of areas including how school systems interact with economics, cultures, and social orders (p. 4). As Walker (2016) explains, an example of this can be observed by examining how educator’s in Finland “ease” into the school year while educators in America tend to stress out during the summer while they prepare their classrooms and lesson plans. Another example of this can be found in Spiegel’s (2012) article where he explains the evident difference of how intellectual struggle is perceived in the East and West (Japan and America). The East views intellectual struggle as emotional strength while the West views it as weakness.

 

The Pragmatic Dimension

Studying approaches to education internationally can benefit educational policies and practices in our home country. When assessing other nations’ strategies, we can learn from their successes, but as Torres and Arnove (2007) explain, “more can be learned from lessons of failure – what not to do – than from stories of success” (p.6). As Walker (2016) explains, educators in Finland could learn from American educators how students transition from class to class (or vice versa). The freedom of first graders in Finland on the other hand, gives students responsibility to arrive to classrooms on time.

 

International Education: The Global Dimension

An important component of comparative education is that it helps create a large sense of understanding and peace among international communities.  Torres and Arnove (2007) differentiate international education (which involves area studies or accounts of discrete countries) and global education whereby there is an emphasis on values, transactions, actors, mechanisms, procedures and issues (p. 7).

 

 

Spiegal, A. (2012) Struggle for smarts? How eastern and western cultures tackle learning: Shots- Health News: NPR (2012, November 12). Retrieved from http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2012/11/12/164793058/struggle-for-smarts-how-eastern-and-western-cultures-tackle-   learning

Walker, T. D. (2016), Finnish teachers opt for less structured start of school year. The Atlantic. Retrieved  from https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2016/08/how-finland-starts-the-school-year/497306/

Paulo Freire

Paulo Freire was an educator and philosopher who impacts how the world should approach education, especially in societies where students are immersed in poverty and oppression; Bentley (1999) explains that by doing so, educators will develop “critical consciousness.” Which “allows people to question the nature of their historical and social situation—to read their world—with the goal of acting as subjects in the creation of a democratic society” (para. 4).  According to his philosophy, educators should approach their teaching style by first becoming familiar with a population of students’ social aspects of their lives. This should include political, historical, and current events of all aspects surrounding their lives. His work is important to the world as it is and will be referenced and put to practice as societies, countries, governments, and financial statuses will, inevitably, change. It is vital to continue to study and practice his pedagogy so that we, as a global society “will challenge every person toward personal and social liberation, both in thought and deed” (Bentley, 1999, para. 13).

 

Bentley, L. (1999). A brief biography of Paulo Freire. Retrieved November 1, 2017 from http://ptoweb.org/aboutpto/a-brief-biography-of-paulo-freire/

Thank You for Being Late

As I mentioned in another post, I worked on a typewriter while I was in school while most of my peers had computers. When I finally had my hands on my first personal PC I thought I had the most modern technology out there. I did, for what seemed like a week. Even in the 90's technology was changing and enhancing with peripherals like CD's, document scanners, etc. With my first computer, I was able to communicate with my friends on AOL Instant Messenger (which lasted surprisingly long). Friedman explains the rapid change in how he communicated for his career and how this advanced to him sending emails from his phone in the back of a self-driving car. Before I read that section, I thought how amazing it is that today, I am able to send text messages via bluetooth in my car while my hands are still on the steering wheel.