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Comparative EDucation: An Approach to Educational Inquiry
Comparative education: An approach to educational inquiry

Comparing is inherent in human thinking.

—Eckstein (1985, p.167)

The making of comparisons is fundamental to intellectual inquiry. A common ground between various investigators in the field of education—whatever their particular focus—has been the task of making comparisons, of examining features of educational provision in different contexts alongside each other and reaching conclusions (judgments) about the nature of those features and the degree to which they are instructive. The work of comparativists is distinguishable from that of other educationists inasmuch as the former are concerned essentially with other countries and their cultures. This focus on education “elsewhere”—on “the other”—means that they must be concerned with appropriate methods to facilitate comparison. Otherwise, comparativists use the ...

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