chapter  2
Language in comparative education
Three strands
Pages 11

Language issues have a special importance in comparative education. This can see in relation to classical roots of the field. Three main strands of thought in the development of comparative education over the past century will then be identified, in order to explore the different ways in which language issues have been viewed within different approaches to the field. Cultural borrowing, including the transfer of language forms, religious beliefs, and institutional patterns from one society to another, has often been regarded as a core issue for comparative education, of particular interest when two or three very different cultures come into interaction. The study of comparative education emerged as a part of this phase of modem development. As the sciences showed their power and effectiveness in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Europe, the study of society, of language, and even of religion began to model itself on scientific method. Positivism, the cultural strand, and the dependency argument are either comprehensive or mutually exclusive.