Emerging as a discipline in the early twentieth century, comparative education serves to scrutinize various education systems, such as those of different nations, through a comparative lens. However, in an age of rapid globalization, scholars note that an “exclusively national” view of comparative education studies has become outdated. Instead of borrowing or linear comparison, there has never been a better time than the present to re-examine our educational systems, policies, and practices, looking into the complexity and tensions associated with our social and educational reality caused by the global-national-local impacts.
China has witnessed a rapid and remarkable development in its national education system. This has been made possible, in part, thanks to the nation’s formal educational collaboration with Canada. This partnership started shortly after the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1970. The Government of Canada offered several monetary grants towards education and programs in the fields of environmental science, marine science, engineering, management, law, agriculture, medicine, and education, which helped Chinese students and scholars rebuild China’s teaching and research infrastructure in higher education.
In recognition of the changing landscape of comparative education studies and the bilateral communication and collaboration on education between China and Canada, the new special issue of the ECNU Review of Education titled “Comparative Research on Teacher education in China, Canada, and Beyond” publishes 11 thought-provoking and well-researched articles by scholars from Canada and China.
In the first article, Dr. Zhou and his research team examine how an exchange program between Chinese and Canadian universities impacted Chinese science teacher candidates’ understanding of science education. The exchange led to a modified relationship in the classroom environment between teachers and students. There was a better understanding of Canadian science curriculum and pedagogy. These cross-cultural learnings from exchange students would then enable policymakers to add on to the development of an enhanced learning process.
In another article, Dr. Guo and her co-author explore different forms of racism and exclusion in international teacher programs. Through a collection of data from public documents, surveys and interviews, researchers have broken the myth of social inclusion in international societies. Shedding light on this discrimination, the authors suggest the decolonization of curriculum and internationalization of teacher educators for a more inclusive education system.
The link between neoliberalism and economic sanctions towards education has not quite been explored before. This article by Dr. Hwami explores how these sanctions adversely impact education. International economic sanctions are deemed as “neoliberalism’s instrument of coercion” and a weapon to impose Western values on other countries which hold different views on the free market system. It aims to create a homogenous educational policy framework that gives no space to diversity, which has created a crisis in pedagogy. The article calls upon academics to fulfil their duties, defending critical scholarship.
Self-assessment by teachers is an effective way of improving the quality of teaching. Dr. Pang examines how teachers self-assessed their work with a given set of strategies in this article. Suggestions provided by those teachers proved valuable in enhancing the learning process. Another article by Dr. Shen and colleagues explore the roles of teacher-research officers in mainland China to understand how they contribute to the education system.
“We hope that we have presented a thoughtful and stimulating collection and look forward to more solid theoretical and/or empirical research on comparative and international education in the new age of transnational migration,” says Dr. Zheng, the author of this issue’s editorial.
Due to be released in September 2022, this special issue promises to yield a fresh perspective on comparative education in a transnational context.
For more information on this special issue, watch this video.
Authors: Jie Zheng1, Shibao Guo2, Hanwei Tang3, Hantian Wu4
1East China Normal University
2University of Calgary
3East China Normal University
About ECNU Review of Education
The ECNU Review of Education (ROE) is an international peer-reviewed journal, established by the East China Normal University (ECNU) that prioritizes the publishing of research in education in China and abroad. It is an open-access journal that provides primacy to interdisciplinary perspectives and contextual sensitivity in approaching research in education. It seeks to provide a platform where the pedagogical community, both scholars and practitioners, can network towards advancing knowledge, synthesizing ideas, and contributing to meaningful change.
About Jie Zheng
Dr. Jie Zheng earned her Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Studies from McGill University and master’s degree in Theoretical, Cultural and International Studies in Education from the University of Alberta. She is now an Associate Professor at the Institute of Vocational and Adult Education, Faculty of Education, East China Normal University (Shanghai, China). Her current research areas involve the sociology of education; educational policy studies; youth, culture, and education; and comparative and international education. In particular, she has a long-standing interest in the sociology of education with regard to how globalization has affected education systems worldwide. She is an invited peer reviewer of a few well-known international academic journals and a board member/associate editor of SN Social Sciences. She has several papers and publications to her name. Her recent studies have been published in the journal of Higher Education (Springer Nature), Studies in International Education, Higher Education Policy, Educational Review, etc.
ECNU Review of Education
Method of Research
Subject of Research
Teacher Education in China, Canada, and Beyond: From Comparativeness to Modernity
Article Publication Date
The authors declare no potential conflicts of interest