Oslo Summer School in Comparative Social Science Studies 1999

Teachers and Teacher Education in Comparative Perspectives

Main Discipline: Education
Lecturers: Professor Mark B. Ginsburg
Institution: University of Pittsburgh, USA
Dates: 2nd - 6th August 1999

Comparative education as a field tends to focus on educational policy, institutional structures, student attendance and achievement in relation to local, national, and global cultural, economic, and political contexts. Surprisingly, many textbooks and readers on comparative education devote little attention to the people, i.e., educators, who play - albeit sometimes passively - a key role in socially constructing the content and processes of education.

This course will be devoted to examining - from a range of theoretical perspectives - the characteristics, ideologies, work, organizations, and political activity of teachers in a range of societies historically and today. In addition, because preparation programs have the potential to shape who enters teaching and what teachers think and do on and off the job, the course will focus internationally on policy formulation, institutional patterns, and socialization processes related to teacher education.

The goals of this course are for participants to develop their capacity for critical comparative analysis of teachers and teacher education. Those attending the course will not only become more knowledgeable about teachers and teacher education in other countries but will also come to understand the complex pattern of similarities and differences across societies with respect to teachers' work and lives and their formal preparation. Such insights should be useful to educators, teacher educators, and policy makers who are involved in reforming education.

Basic readings:

The lecturer:
Mark B. Ginsburg is a Professor of Comparative Sociology of Education, in the Departments of Administrative and Policy Studies and of Sociology at the University of Pittsburgh (USA). He is also Co-Director of the Pitt's Institute for International Studies in Education. He served as President of the Comparative and International Education Society (USA) in 1991-92 and has been a member of the World Council of Comparative Education Societies since 1991.

His book publications include: Contradiction in Teacher Education and Society: A Critical Analysis (Falmer 1988); Understanding Educational Reform in Global Context: Economy, Ideology, and the State (Garland, 1991); The Political Dimension in Teacher Education: Comparative Perspectives on Policy Formation, Socialization, and Society (Falmer, 1995); and The Politics of Educators Work and Lives (Garland, 1995).