School Knowledge in Comparative and Historical Perspective: Changing Curricula in Primary and Secondary Education

Edited by Aaron Benavot and Cecilia Braslavsky

2006, 315pp

ISBN 10: 962-8093-52-5
ISBN 13: 978-962-8093-52-6

HK$50 (local), US$8 (overseas)

Published by Comparative Education Research Centre (CERC) and Springer


School curricula are established not only to prepare young people for a real world, but also to beckon an imagined one anchored in individual rights and collective progress. Both worlds – the real and the imagined – increasingly reflect influential transnational forces.

In this special edited volume, scholars with diverse backgrounds and conceptual frameworks explore how economic, political, social and ideological forces impact on school curricula over time and place. In providing regional and global perspectives on curricular policies, practices and reforms, the authors move beyond the conventional notion that school contents reflect principally national priorities and subject-based interests. Some authors emphasize a convergence to standardized global curricular structures and discourses. Others suggest that changes regarding the intended contents of primary and secondary school curricula reveal regional or trans-cultural influences. Overall, these comparative and historical studies demonstrate that the dynamics of curriculum-making and curricular reform are increasingly forged within wider regional, cross-regional and global contexts.

Aaron Benavot is a senior policy analyst at UNESCO (Paris) working on the Global Monitoring Report on Education For All, and a senior lecturer (on leave) from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel. His research focuses on the effects of education on development and democratization, the expansion of mass education, and worldwide patterns of official school curricula.

Cecilia Braslavsky was Director of UNESCO’s International Bureau of Education (IBE) from July 2000 until her untimely passing on 1 June 2005. A remarkable educationalist in the realms of both theory and practice, she made significant contributions to the field of curriculum development and change. She was formerly Educational Coordinator of the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO), and Director-General of Educational Research in the Argentine Ministry of Education.

Read a review published in the journal Comparative Education Review, Volume 54, Number 3, (August 2010)