This Handbook analyzes the origins, contributions, and interpretations of international education. The authors identify approaches to research that will enhance our knowledge and understanding of the field, and extend and even redraw it, on the basis of the research evidence presented. Key features includes a historical overview of the ways in which the term "international education" has been interpreted; the theoretical interpretation of international education in its current context; international education in practice: exploration of the issues in terms of students, curricula, pedagogies, and organizing formal institutions; and conceptual challenges for international education in the future.

Realism and Antirealism in International Education Research

Realism and Antirealism in International Education Research

Realism and antirealism in international education research

In this chapter, I propose to critique the application of research methodologies involving questionnaire-based surveys, with reference to a case study involving an inventory of items derived from Hofstede (1986). My metatheoretical position will be to discuss the selected research methodologies from realist (that is, positivist and postpositivist) and anti-realist perspectives. My antirealist critique will be informed mainly by the philosophy of early Foucault, but also with reference to post-Foucauldian theorists such as Edward Said. It may be argued that cross-cultural enquiry forms an important strand of research in international education. However, the ways in which ‘culture’ may be conceptualized are contested.

From a realist perspective, culture may be seen in essentialist terms, ...

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