Founded in 1956, the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) has been committed to a yearly conference, an assembly of major thinkers in the field of Comparative and International Education. The annual meeting has established a 48 year tradition of scholarly and practical exchange, debate, and networking. Today’s CIES membership includes more than 1200 academics, practitioners, and students from around the world. They bring to the society a wealth of cross-disciplinary expertise and interests as historians, sociologists, economists, psychologists, anthropologists, and educators. The society also includes approximately 1300 institutional members, primarily academic libraries and international organizations. The CIES was founded to foster cross- cultural understanding, scholarship, academic achievement, and societal development through the international study of educational ideas, systems, and practices. Each year, conference presentations and discussions address the emerging economic, socio-cultural, and political dynamics that present new challenges to education worldwide.
What, if any, emerging trends can be identified in the field of Comparative and International Education from analysis of the content of CIES conference presentations? This study investigates the program content presented at previous CIES conferences over a period of five years. A rich database was developed to analyze the topics of presentation, country and region, and predominance of universities represented as presenters. The data from the 2004 CIES conference in Salt Lake alone provides approximately 700 symposium, presentation, or roundtable topics. The data analysis shares insight into important dichotomies, including case study (specific focus on one country) versus cross-cultural (comparing at least two countries) research, Western or non-Western culture, and theory versus practice. After the presentation of data, the audience will be encouraged to reflect and initiate a dialogue related to how the results may suggest additional emerging dichotomies in the field of Comparative and International Education.