Ausgabe 1/2015, 21. Jahrgang S. 6–26
Zwischen Renaissance und Bedeutungslosigkeit. Aktueller Stand und Perspektiven der Vergleichenden Erziehungswissenschaft in Deutschland
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In recent years the ever-increasing number of publications in education with an explicit ‘international’ and/or ‘comparative’ orientation could indicate a renaissance of a field of study, which is internationally known as ‘comparative education’ (CE). This trend has been particularly strong in Germany, where international references to, for example, ‘successful PISA countries’ have been a characteristic feature of numerous educational publications particularly since the so-called ‘PISA shock’ in 2001. However, while on the surface many external indicators (e.g. publications, congresses, media attention) seem to signify a strong and powerful renaissance of CE in Germany, CE (as a field of study and) as an academic university discipline is seriously under threat of losing its identity and falling into oblivion. In this article it will be argued that the current renaissance of CE, which we are apparently witnessing at the moment, could in the long run be detrimental rather than beneficial to this field of study. The argument will be developed in three steps: Firstly, and in order to analyse and to understand the current state of CE in Germany, the author will briefly look back at the origin and the genesis of CE in Germany and find out how this field of study was shaped. Secondly, three current trends in German CE will be analysed in particular which will provide a deeper understanding of the present state of this field of study. In the third part, the author will look at the consequences of these trends for CE and will briefly outline future perspectives for this field of study in Germany (and perhaps elsewhere), which might ‘save’ this field of study from falling into oblivion.