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Unit information: International Development, Comparative Research and Education in 2014/15

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Unit name International Development, Comparative Research and Education
Unit code EDUCM5203
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Professor. Crossley
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Education
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

The role of education in international development is examined and contemporary global development priorities are identified. In the light of this, the unit focuses upon ways in which comparative and international research in education can contribute to both the critique and the improvement of educational policy and the processes of international development co-operation. In doing this, a case is made for the reconceptualisation of comparative and international research in education, and for greater context and cultural sensitivity in both educational research and educational development worldwide.

The unit aims to:

  • develop a critical awareness of the role of education in international development;
  • explore new approaches to comparative and international research in education and their potential for the improvement of educational policy and practice;
  • engage in the critical interrogation of case studies of educational innovations in low income countries;
  • demonstrate the significance of socio-cultural context in educational research and international development with specific reference to the analysis of tensions between local and international agendas.

Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of the unit, students should be able to demonstrate an ability to:

  • apply comparative perspectives in the critical analysis of global educational policy trends and international development processes;
  • critically evaluate current modes of international development co-operation;
  • understand the significance of contextual and cultural factors in the processes of international development;
  • contribute to the ongoing reconceptualisation of comparative and international research in education; and
  • source academic texts related international development, comparative research and education through a VLE and through independent use of online databases and search engines and manage references using appropriate software.

Teaching Information

The course will be delivered through a combination of teaching strategies, which may include whole group lectures and seminars; case studies; critical analysis of key readings; video presentations; groups discussions and student presentations.

The needs of a wide range of students, including those with disabilities; international students and those from ethnic minority backgrounds have been considered. It is not anticipated that the teaching and assessment methods used will cause disadvantage to any person taking the unit. The Graduate School of Education is happy to address individual support requests as necessary.

Assessment Information

Summative assessment for the unit will be on the basis of a 4,000 word assignment which will assess students’ critical understanding of the literature and their ability to apply the concepts and theories explored to their own research and professional practice. Individual, formative feedback will also be given in respect of student presentations to the class, and draft assignment outlines.

Reading and References

Arnove, R F & Torres, C A (eds) (2003) Comparative Education: The Dialectic of the Global and the Local, Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield

Crossley, M et al (2005) Research and Evaluation for Educational Development. Learning from the PRISM Experience in Kenya, Oxford: Symposium Books

Crossley, M & Watson, K (2003) Comparative and International Research in Education. Globalisation, Context and Difference, London & New York: Routledge Falmer

King, K & McGrath, S (2004) Knowledge for Development? Comparing British, Japanese, Swedish and World Bank Aid, London: Zed Books