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Educational Policy Transfer in an Era of Globalization: Theory – History – Comparison


Jeremy Rappleye

As education becomes increasingly global, the processes and politics of transfer have become a central focus of research. This study provides a comprehensive analysis of contemporary theoretical and analytical work aimed at exploring international educational reform and reveals the myriad ways that globalization is now fundamentally altering our dominant conceptions. It illustrates how transfer has emerged to play a central part in policy formation processes worldwide, but also reveals critical differences between developed countries and aid-dependent developing states. This substantial breadth, combined with a level of empirical depth absent from current research, opens up new vistas through which to understand globalization, educational policy formation, and the modalities of transfer. In doing so, the book pushes for a reevaluation of several core assumptions of transfer and educational research more generally.


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INTRODUCTION We now shift to locate and illuminate educational transfer in Nepal. The first of its three chapters is historical, foregrounding and analyzing transfer processes within a more general description of the evolution and development of education and schooling there. The second moves that examination to recent policy reforms and provides a ‘vista’ on the mul- tiple, interwoven threads of transfer at work in the arrival of policies ap- proximating to educational late-modernity. The third contributes another ‘vista’ that seeks to reveal and analyze a new conduit of educational pol- icy transfer at work in contemporary Nepal – civil society. As with the Japan account, in formulating and presenting these chapters priority has been given to detailing transfer and locating ‘entry-points’ (‘space-gate’ moments) rather than attempting a cohesive narrative of policy change. For this reason, an introductory overview is included here to provide a ‘road-map’ of the various waves of policy change in the recent transi- tion of Nepalese education. INTRODUCING NEPALESE EDUCATION: CONCEPTUALIZING, LOCATING TRANSFER Examinations of Nepalese education are scarce in the existing Eng- lish-language literature and all but non-existent when one seeks a broad historical sweep of the evolution and development of schooling there. In stark contrast to the abundance of work on Japanese education, Nepal has not been a particularly evocative research object for non-Nepalese 242 Rappleye: Transfer in an Era of Globalization scholars. Therefore, utilizing the template provided by Cowen’s (1996) notion of pre-modern, modern, and late-modern educational paradigms, we are relatively free to construct an...

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