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Comparative Education

Comparative Education

Podtytuł: Methodology Contexts
ISBN: 978-83-8294-330-6
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The book does not recreate the reality but, metaphorically speaking, it causes the readers to forget the reality while reading and understanding the text. But if they record this process of forgetting, they will be able to remember it and then, perhaps, immerse in the reality addressed by this book...

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„The book we present to the reader is not a classic textbook on comparative education. Instead, it is an extended essay on the methodological contexts of comparative pedagogy.

Comparative education has been diagnosing its separateness since the 1980s. This process is embedded in a broader context of reflections on the scientificness of education science itself and was triggered by the critical comments on the identity of this discipline (cf. Folkierska, 1990). On the one hand, comparative education is firmly grounded in educational issues. On the other hand, it remains connected to other disciplines, most notably sociology, political geography, political science, philosophy, and general history. This versatility of comparative education, combined with the dynamics of the changes taking place in many countries, makes it seem like a problematic research field that is poorly represented, especially in Polish education. This trend has been constant for several decades.

The costliness of comparative research and the difficulty in obtaining funding for comparative research, often resulting from a lack of understanding of its essence and importance, do not encourage researchers to undertake comparative research either. The decision-makers dividing the funds usually believe that comparative research is a useless embellishment for “higher-rank” studies. However, this does not prevent them from capitalising on the knowledge regarding the education systems of other countries to legitimise various problem areas which use comparative data as evidence in support of their theses. The problem is that there is often a temptation to replace scientific comparative analyses with information found online or with simple statistical data without their appropriate interpretation. The process is characteristic not only of comparative education but also of education science in general. There is also a temptation to abandon the scientific approach to the discipline in favour of its ideologisation, excessive practicality or playing with words, disregard for the methodological grounds in favour of illusionary interdisciplinarity, replace order with chaos or choose almost trivial problems in the name of scientific freedom at the expense of reason-based demonstration. We are witnessing science-based education studies falling into a precipice of informational noise, where every opinion is legitimised, everyone has something to say, and there is disregard for theories, methods and common sense.”

Methodology Contexts
40 Przedmioty

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Książka elektroniczna - E-book
PDF
Książka papierowa
oprawa twarda

Specyficzne kody

isbn
978-83-8294-330-6

Prof. dr hab. Renata Nowakowska-Siuta

Nowakowska-Siuta Renata

pedagog, dziekan Wydziału Nauk Społecznych Chrześcijańskiej Akademii Teologicznej w Warszawie w kadencji 2016-2020 oraz 2020-2024. Kierownik Katedry Dydaktyki i Pedagogiki Porównawczej. W latach 2020-2023 członek specjalista Komitetu Nauk Pedagogicznych PAN, kierownik Zespołu Międzynarodowych Badań Porównawczych. Ekspertka Komisji Europejskiej w programie Horyzont 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, Narodowego Centrum Badań i Rozwoju, Fundacji Rozwoju Systemu Edukacji w programie Erasmus Plus i Europejskiego Korpusu Solidarności w zakresie edukacji szkolnej i szkolnictwa wyższego, ekspertka NAWA oraz Fundacji na Rzecz Nauki Polskiej. W latach 1998-2021 wykładała również w Uniwersytecie Warszawskim do 2007 roku na Wydziale Pedagogicznym a od 2007 do 2021 w Centrum Kształcenia Nauczycieli Języków Obcych i Edukacji Europejskiej.

Autorka dziewięciu książek z zakresu pedagogiki porównawczej m.in.: Uniwersytet w systemie szkolnictwa wyższego Niemiec na europejskim tle porównawczym, (Warszawa 2005) Pedagogika porównawcza. Problemy, stan badan i perspektywy rozwoju (Kraków 2014), Romantyczny i pragmatyczny. Idea uniwersytetu neohumanistycznego i jej społeczne rekonstrukcje (2018), O edukacji w Finlandii (2021). Redaktorka naukowa książek wieloautorskich, autorka ponad dziewięćdzesięciu artykułów, w tym w języku angielskim i niemieckim.

Wygłaszała wielokrotnie wykłady w uczelniach europejskich m.in. w Uniwersytecie Complutense w Madrycie, Uniwersytecie w Hamburgu, Technische Universität w Dreźnie, Uniwersytecie w Lipsku, Uniwersytecie w Bonn a także w Instytucie Kultury Polskiej w Wiedniu. Współpracuje z wieloma instytucjami kultury oraz instytucjami naukowymi i edukacyjnym, w tym zajmującymi się kształceniem nauczycieli m.in. z Warszawskim Centrum Innowacji Edukacyjno-Społecznych i Szkoleń. Kierownik i wykonawca w kilku projektach naukowych w tym w projektach międzynarodowych. Otrzymała wiele nagród za pracę naukową oraz dydaktyczną i współpracę z otoczeniem społecznym. Największą satysfakcję przyniosła jej nagroda przyznana przez studentów Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego – Nauczyciel Akademicki Roku 2014.

Oficyna Wydawnicza "Impuls"

Autor

Renata Nowakowska-Siuta

ISBN druk

978-83-8294-330-6

ISBN e-book

978-83-8294-354-2

Objętość

180 stron

Wydanie

I, 2024

Format

B5 (160X235). E-book: PDF

Oprawatwarda, szyta

Preface        

Chapter I
Comparative education versus education science, its subdisciplines and other disciplines of social sciences   

1.    Knowledge versus opinions – what shall we call scientific?        
2.    Ideology and normativity as threats to social sciences     
3.    Truth and simplicity in science       
4.    Imagination in science – how far can we creatively describe the reality    
5.    Historical and cultural context in comparative education        
6.    Cross-cultural research versus comparative education        

Chapter II
Paradigms of social sciences versus paradigms of comparative education        

Chapter III
How is the research area chosen in comparative education?  

1.    The similarity theory by Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman versus the anchoring heuristic    
2. The availability heuristic and the false consensus effect    

Chapter IV
How should comparative research be conducted and what purpose does it serve?  

1.    Comparison as anticipation of social change        
2.    Comparative research methods        
3.    Data collection and qualitative research in comparativism        
4.    More on description, explanation and prediction        
5.    Selected historically established but rarely used comparison methods     

The Ogden-Richards triangle       
Porphyrian Tree        
Classification strategies – Mill’s Canons    
The chaos of the world – the order of science. Weber’s ideal types     
Raymond Boudon’s formula        
Möbius strip in comparativism        

Chapter V
Development or stagnation? Problems with modern comparative education   

Conclusions       

References     

Abstract    

Index of persons

Preface

On page 1475 of the Encyclopedia of the 20th Century by Trzaska, Evert and Michalski, with Stanisław Lam as the editor, released in 1937, we can read that education science is divided into experimental, therapeutic and environmental branches. In his monograph, O kształceniu, published in Lviv in 1918, Antoni Danysz defines education science as the science of upbringing, which is divided into general and applied education science (Danysz, 1918, p. 13). In between these two types, the author places historical education science, understood as “the history of education science” (Danysz, 1918, p. 14), and he links it to comparative education, which he believes “[...] offers information on the educational and teaching customs and tools of all countries and cultural nations” (Danysz, 1918, p. 14). Monographs by Hanna Pohoska, a prominent scholar of the University of Warsaw, which are sadly slightly forgotten nowadays, such as Dydaktyka historii of 1928 or “Rewolucja szkolna we Francji” 1762–1772 of 1933, present comparative education as an inseparable part of the history of education and, in a broader sense, of general education science. This approach to educating teachers prevailed for a long time, and even in the 1990s students could not enrol on comparative education university programmes before first completing a two-year History of Education course that concluded with an exam.

Divisions into education science subdisciplines were legible and their substantive succession was logical. Practical specialisation as a part of an education science university programme always followed and never preceded a general education cycle, and it was always underpinned with a theoretical and methodological framework. Major emphasis was placed on working with source texts and extensive textbooks that were dedicated to particular subjects and addressed particular education science subdisciplines, sparse at that time.

However, the hundred years that passed from the interwar period to the development of the modern education science witnessed an unprecedented separatism within this field. Education science split into a number of subdisciplines and sub-subdisciplines, and it became a popular subject of reflection or criticism, up to the questioning of its scientific nature. Today, there are numerous versions of education science and, by extension, comparative education: from scientific approaches to the commonness of the technological or sometimes even cynical use of education science for a particularistic purpose of convincing others that one educational perspective is superior to another. We can also observe a multitude of manipulations, deformations or even pseudoscientific lies, often tainted by personal beliefs under the pretences of interdisciplinarity in order to build an illusion of scientificness. Education science is becoming a political tool used in campaigns in support of or against someone. Education science is often confused with pedagogy because people fail to understand the difference between the meanings of the two, while pedagogy is further confused with the technology of upbringing or the obligatory nature of educational activities.

In the melting pot of the changes happening right in front of us, it is easy to overlook the simplicity, clarity, precision of thinking, including methodological thinking, which help us tell common beliefs from scientific opinions, theory from practice, upbringing from drilling, as postulated by prominent authority figures of the 20th century education science, including – in addition to those who have been already mentioned – also the masters of accuracy and precision in education thinking, such as Sergiusz Hessen and Bogdan Nawroczyński.

The characteristic traits of their work include: a holistic approach to issues, taking into account a broad cultural and sociopolitical context; beautiful language; original thoughts; and primarily work with international literature, assisted by foreign language skills. Comparative education was an immanent part of every academic disquisition in the area of education science; after all, no problem area could be discussed without broad a pre­sentation of contemporary international discourse.

My focus on the methodological issues related to comparative education naturally stems from my academic interests. It is dictated by two reasons. Firstly, because after the development phase in the 1980s and 1990s, this subdiscipline is now slightly forgotten in Polish social sciences, especially in the past decade, as opposed to other European countries and the United States, which currently conduct highly intense research in this area. Secondly, aside from recognised works of Polish comparativists, we are dealing with methodological inconsistencies, omissions or sometimes even methodological dispersion, especially among researchers not strictly tied to comparative education but reaching for its research; some like to explain this away with the interdisciplinary nature of the research without adding that, just as in any other area of human activity, chaos is useful only when it is a prelude to order, placement and stability.

Additionally, comparative education has been diagnosing its separateness since the 1980s. This process is embedded in a broader context of reflections on the scientificness of education science itself and it was triggered by the critical comments on the identity of this discipline (cf. Folkierska, 1990). On the one hand, comparative education is firmly grounded in educational issues, but on the other hand, it remains connected to other disciplines, most notably sociology, political geography, political science, philosophy and general history. This versatility of comparative education, combined with the dynamics of the changes taking place in many countries, makes it seem like a difficult research field that is poorly represented, especially in Polish education – a trend that has been constant for several decades.

The costliness of comparative research, as well as the difficulty in obtaining funding for comparative research, often resulting from a lack of understanding of its essence and importance, does encourage researchers to undertake comparative research either. The decision-makers dividing the funds often believe that comparative research is a useless embellishment for “higher-rank” studies, although this does not prevent them from capitalising on the knowledge regarding the education systems of other countries to legitimise various problem areas which use comparative data as evidence in support of their theses. The problem is that there is often a temptation to replace scientific comparative analyses with information found online or with simple statistical data without their appropriate interpretation. The process is characteristic not only of comparative education but also of education science in general. There is also a temptation to abandon the scientific approach to the discipline in favour of its ideologisation, excessive practicality or playing with words, disregard for the methodological grounds in favour of illusionary interdisciplinarity, replace order with chaos or choose almost trivial problems in the name of scientific freedom at the expense of reason-based demonstration. We are witnessing science-based education studies falling into a precipice of informational noise, where every opinion is legitimised, everyone has something to say and there is disregard for theories, methods and even common sense.

[...]

„(…)The book, with its 'comparatist and methodological' profile, makes a contribution that cannot be overestimated in contemporary Polish comparative education. Its innovative nature lies in the introduction of methodological issues and problem fields so far absent from the discourse of comparative education, and it does it in a thoroughly constructive way. Drawing very aptly and respectfully on the existing tradition of comparative education, the author enriches it with original notions, categories and concepts, demonstrating comprehensively how they can contribute to deepening the methodological positioning of 'comparison' or 'comparativity'. I would like to state that the book 'Comparative Education. Methodology Contexts' is an excellent work in every respect. It follows the best traditions of thinking about comparative education and practicing comparative education, and at the same time, to repeat once again, it represents openness to the future, it is original and inspiring. The author's scientific temperament consisting in transgressing what is known, in introducing changes to the map of the discourse, in striving for multicontextual perception and analysis of the addressed issues, and, finally, in the unique freedom in constructing the narrative, is very much visible in the book.”

(from a review by Professor Zbyszko Melosik)

„(…)Today, in a world that - despite political borders - is a world without borders, comparative pedagogy is becoming a fundamental sub-discipline of the humanities and social sciences. It makes it possible not only to reconstruct educational processes in different countries comparatively but also to extrapolate current data and interpret them in the context of projected educational changes. Renata Nowakowska-Siuta is an outstanding specialist in comparative pedagogy. She has published several thematic monographs on education and higher education in other countries and a book synthesizing the achievements of comparative pedagogy. The work presented here is a methodological complement to her previous achievements. It is not a handbook. It is first and foremost a book that encourages reflection on the methodological foundations of comparative pedagogy. Without such awareness, no scientific discipline can develop.”

(from a review by Professor Bogusław Milerski)

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