“Comparative Education is the application of the intellectual tools of history and the social sciences to understanding international issues of education” ― Erwin H. Epstein
Drawing on the above comprehensive definition and epistemological boundary of comparative education, the “Centre for Comparative and Global Education” (CCGE) at O.P. Jindal Global (Institution of Eminence Deemed To Be University) will conduct research and facilitate knowledge exchange on international issues of education by inviting comparative education scholars from abroad to learn from educational experiences of people around the world. In his (now classic) lecture in the field of comparative education- “How Far Can We Learn Anything of Practical Value from the Study of Foreign Systems of Education” delivered at the Guildford Education Conference in 1900 at the Christ Church Oxford, M. E. Sadler (one of the founding fathers of the field) stated that: “The practical value of studying, in a right spirit and with scholarly accuracy, the working of foreign systems of education, is that it will result in our being better fitted to study and understand our own.” (Bereday, 1964). This quote from Sadler’s essay summarizes well the value and the importance of studying comparative education to better understand the problems of our own context and become better empowered to seek solutions.
Though the study and research of comparative education has not yet taken its root within the Indian academy, India also had great educational thinkers, organic intellectuals and reformers, who did their own comparative research of different education systems around the world independently seeking to reform education within the colonial Indian context. India’s “Kavi Guru” (Poet-Teacher), Rabindranath Tagore’s essay written in Bengali “Shikshayar Herfer” (Topsy-turvey Education, 1892) is a classic example in this area. In this essay Tagore compared English education in UK with English education in British India to critically reflect on the problematics of mainstream English education in India and what lessons India can learn from English education in UK.
The Centre for Comparative and Global Education (CCGE) seeks to generate such comparative thinking about education systems, problems of educational transfer within the historic colonial context and in contemporary times of globalization. In doing so, CCGE seeks to advocate for the teaching, research and practice of comparative education in Universities within India and around the world to further inform the contemporary debates on education policy and practice.
Bereday. G. Z. F. (1964). Sir Michael Sadler’s “Study of Foreign Systems of Education”. Comparative Education Review, University of Chicago Press. Vol. 7, No. 3 (Feb., 1964), pp. 307-314
Tagore, R. (1892). “Shikshayar Herfer” /Topsy-turvy Education, in Uma Dasgupta (Ed.). Tagore: Selected Writings on Education and Nationalism. New Delhi: Oxford University Pre -Dr. Mousumi Mukherjee, Founding Executive Director, Centre for Comparative and Global Education & Asst. Director, IIHEd