The globalism, culture and thinking in comparative education

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This chapter examines how the modern phase of globalisation has influ- enced the relationship between culture and thinking in the context of comparative education over time. It argues that a ‘Western’ or Euro-American conception of thinking, which generally promotes a universal notion that is not subject to cultural variation, has dominated the way in which culture and thinking have been seen in comparative education, assisted and reinforced by the diffusion of Euro-American attitudes that has occurred as a result of the process of globalisation. The chapter then argues that, since the late 1990s, a shift in the conception of culture from a anthropological to a more psychological framework has encouraged a greater theo- retical acknowledgement of the culture-thinking relationship in comparative educa- tion, particularly amongst, but not solely, researchers on the boundary of traditional ‘Western’ research. In contrast, however, the neo-liberal influence that is a dominant feature of the current phase of globalisation has continued to have an impact on the practice of comparative education at the national scale. Paradoxically, it is argued, within the practice of comparative education, cultural difference has been acknowl- edged as a possible influence on thinking by attempting to remove it as a factor in measures of international educational comparison in the aim of achieving objectiv- ity in comparisons. As a result, in contrast to theoretical developments in compara- tive education, the assessment of culture’s influence on thinking skills within the practice of comparative education has been reduced to an empirical negative, in which the consideration of culture is made more noticeable by its absence than by its presence.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThird International Handbook of Globalisation, Education and Policy Research
EditorsJoseph Zajda
Place of PublicationCham Switzerland
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9783030660031
ISBN (Print)9783030660024
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • globalism
  • culture
  • thinking
  • comparative education

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