chapter  7
16 Pages

Notes on the Schooling of the English Working Class: What Lessons for New Zealand? A Comparative Briefing Paper

It has been rightly pointed out that there are dangers for New Zealand policymakers in relying too heavily upon American and British experience. The argument is that New Zealand faces the challenge of developing its own distinctive culture, policies and institutions derived from the experiences of Pakeha, Maori and Pacific Island communities and of other ethnic groups in New Zealand society. The validity and power of this argument should not lead us to imply, however, that nothing of value can be learned from the study of education in other societies. To do so would be to replace a Western ethnocentrism with a Pacific ethnocentrism. Comparative study in education, provided that it is sensitive to historical and cultural differences, can be a useful resource for educational policy-makers. Useful lessons may be learned from the historical and cultural experiences of other societies.