Geographies of knowledge in comparative education or, how to silence that which disturbs!

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


In this article, I wish to consider the intersections of globalization, geography and academic work. My overall argument is that the deeper interconnection of academic communities made possible by global flows of people, ideas and technologies has not only made new forms of sharing possible but, rather, consolidated and deepened the use not only of English as a language of exchange in the humanities and social sciences but, rather, simplified complex and historically-contingent knowledge traditions around certain dominant and dominating Anglo-American intellectual (and political) concerns. Many Continental European scholars entering English-language knowledge communities find these priorities and interests difficult to decipher or master; most ‘native’ scholars hardly notice their existence: the literal ‘fish in water’. That is an enormous
challenge for academic communities and disciplinary societies that seek to recognize, work with, and extend differences in thinking and of perspectives.

In the first part of the article, I will unpack some of the key notions of globalization that have preoccupied Anglo-American social science research, suggesting that comparative education – my vantage point here – has been slow to recalibrate itself to the new landscape of the social. Within this frame, I briefly outline some of my own approaches to comparative work in the field of education,
indicating how these are positioned as marginal to other ‘big picture’ issues.

In the second part of the article, I explain how a broad intellectual agenda for exploring the global dimensions of social life have been truncated to a number of perennial concerns of the Anglo-American academy. This has consequences for what counts of knowledge production in education and serves to further marginalize the majority who not only struggle to master issues of language
but the concepts and concerns that dominant/ dominating languages always embody.

Finally, I reflect on what can be done to acknowledge, celebrate and institutionalize difference in the academy. Whilst my musings are grounded in the ‘field’ of comparative education, I believe that they are relevant for other disciplinary communities and serve as a call that we remain vigilant against new and pervasive forms of exclusion.
TidsskriftI Problemi della Pedagogia
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)171 -189
Antal sider18
StatusUdgivet - 1 jun. 2017

Citer dette