Mark Bray, Bob Adamson, and Mark Mason, eds.
Comparative Education Research Approaches and Methods
Comparative Education Research Centre, Hong Kong University 2014
It’s becoming more and more common to see comparisons of educational attributes between other countries. From international tests like PISA or TIMSS rankings, to study habits, and classroom life, policymakers, educators, and even everyday people want to make cross-country comparisons. But, comparisons, if not analyzed correctly, can be grossly simplified or misinterpreted. So then, how can we do comparative education with nuance? Mark Bray, Bob Adamson, and Mark Mason provide a wonderfully robust handbook for just this question with their edited volume entitled Comparative Education Research Approaches and Methods (Comparative Education Research Centre [CERC], the University of Hong Kong, 2014). The book is largely comprised of chapters synthesized into “Units of Comparisons,” including: comparing places, systems, times, race, class, and gender, cultures, values, policies, curricula, pedagogy, ways of learning, and educational achievement. Each of these chapters thoroughly explains proper analysis of cross-country comparisons depending on unit and lens.
In this second edition, Bray, Adamson, and Mason build upon classic foundations of the field, such as the Bray and Thomas Cube, while updating the book to reflect the newest trends and technological innovations that have occurred since the first edition published in 2007. Particularly, the rise of East Asia as a dominant actor in the field of comparative education is reflected throughout the book with examples and case studies from the region. All of the editors and contributors are connected to CERC at the University of Hong Kong, which provides a close familiarity with the region by the writers. The book has been translated into eight different languages and has been well received by countries throughout the world. Dr. Bray, CERC director and UNESCO Chair Professor in Comparative Education at the university, joins New Books in Education to discuss the book.