PANEL: Teaching Comparative & International Education

CIES Montreal 2011

Group Panel Abstract:

At past CIES annual conferences, few presentations have been devoted to the teaching of comparative education. This is surprising given that the future of the field rests, in part, on how we train comparativists. What methods and materials are used in the teaching of comparative education? What are the essential topics to be covered? This panel will discuss such topics and consider a proposal for a new Special Interest Group devoted to teaching comparative education. It will describe CIECAP (Comparative and International Education Course Archive Project), which has become a web-based resource of comparative education outlines from universities throughout the world hosted since 2003 by Loyola University Chicago, and CEIMA (Comparative Education Instructional Materials Archive), launched in 2006 at Bowling Green State University, which is an electronic website for the gathering and sharing of teaching resources among comparative educators. This panel will offer comparativists a forum for discussing both comparative education’s place in the social foundations of education and the contours and trends of the field as defined by course syllabi, teaching materials, and graduate programs worldwide.

Presentation 1

Title: The Comparative and International Education Course Archive Project: Discerning World-wide Trends in the Teaching of Comparative Education


In the first issue of Comparative Education Review in June, 1957, George Z. F. Bereday speculated that, Professors using textbooks in comparative education are probably divided into two classes: those who like a comprehensive and systematic treatment, and like to arrange their courses to follow such a treatment; and those who consider textbooks as supplementary reading and are more interested in particular presentations than in comprehensiveness. (p. 3) Is this still the case? Similarly, in 1963, Bereday offered readers the chance to analyze the syllabus for what was likely the first comparative education course ever taught, James Russell’s “Comparative Study of Educational Systems” taught at Teacher’s College during the 1899-1900 school year. How do comparative education syllabi differ today? The Center for Comparative Education at Loyola University Chicago sought to answer these questions when it launched the Comparative and International Education Course Archive Project (CIECAP) in 2003.

This paper will present the results of two CIECAP initiatives. First, we will offer an analysis of comparative education syllabi. Our analysis will consider how the theoretical, methodological, and thematic frameworks employed in the teaching of comparative education, as well as the most frequently cited scholars and commonly used texts, have changed over time. Second, we will present the results of the newest CIECAP initiative, a survey of comparative education graduate programs worldwide. Specifically, we will discuss how graduate programs define comparative education, how they prepare comparativists academically, and the settings in which graduates of comparative education programs seek and find employment.


Bereday, G.Z.F. (1963). James Russell’s syllabus of the first academic course in comparative education. Comparative Education Review, 7(2), 189-196.

Bereday, G.Z.F. (1957). A note on textbooks in comparative education. Comparative Education Review, 1(1), 3-4.