Between Faith and Science: World Culture Theory and Comparative Education

Stephen Carney, Jeremy Rappleye, Iveta Silova

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    World culture theory seeks to explain an apparent convergence of education through a neoinstitutionalist lens, seeing global rationalization in education as driven by the logic of science and the myth of progress. While critics have challenged these assumptions by focusing on local manifestations of world-level tendencies, such critique is comfortably accommodated within world culture theory. We approach the debate from a fresh perspective by examining its ideological foundations. We also highlight its shift from notions of myth and enactment toward advocacy for particular models, and we show that world culture theory can become normative, while obscuring our view of policy convergence. Finally, we critique the methods and evidence in world culture
    research. We argue that such research, while failing to support its own claims, actually produces world culture, as its assumptions and parameters create the very image of consensus and homogeneity that world culture theorists expect scholars to accept—in faith—as empirically grounded.
    TidsskriftComparative Education Review
    Udgave nummer3
    Sider (fra-til)366-393
    StatusUdgivet - 2012

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