International Projections into "Finnish Success"
A School of Education seminar presented on August 10th, 2015 by Professor Gita Steiner-Khamsi
The explanations of why students in Finland do well in international learning assessments vary widely. The presentation draws on a line of empirical research within comparative policy studies that was first established by Keita Takayama (University of New England) and Florian Waldow (Humboldt University) and is now replicated and refined by others. Clearly, the varied explanations have more to do with the disciplinary, political, and national orientation of the analyst than with the Finnish education system. In effect, the explanations are “projections” (Waldow) into the Finnish education system.
What do these findings entail for the theory of the policy process and for globalization studies in education? Gita Steiner-Khamsi uses examples of projections to compare theories and to discuss the interpretive framework of policy borrowing.
Gita Steiner-Khamsi is Professor of Comparative and International Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, New York. A past president of the US Comparative and International Education Society (CIES), she published widely on globalization in education, comparative policy studies, and methods of comparison. Her most recent book was entitled Policy Borrowing and Lending (with Florian Waldow; 2012) and her forthcoming book deals with The Global Education Industry (with Antoni Verger and Christopher Lubienski, 2016); both published by Routledge.