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Author: David A. Turner
Comparative Education: A Field in Discussion is a personal reflection on the field of comparative education from the perspective of one scholar who has been active in the field since the 1980s. In the 1960s and 1970s many scholars attempted to develop a science of comparative education, and those diverse efforts formed the backdrop to the study of comparative education in the 1980s. In this volume, the author, who was originally educated as a physical scientist, draws upon those earlier attempts, at the same time introducing new insights from the complexity of science and systems theory.

David Turner argues that these new insights should lead us away from a positivist vision of science, largely based on nineteenth century ideas of scientific method, and challenge us to accept that concepts are fluid, change over time, and are frequently contested. Nonetheless, those same concepts are essential to the way that we think of ourselves, our environment and the institutions that we inhabit.

Caught between the generalisations that our concepts force on us, and our wish to capture the specificity of each personal history, the activity that we engage in is comparative education.