NJCIE 2019, Vol. 3(2), 1-2                                                                             http://doi.org/10.7577/njcie.3364



Halla B. Holmarsdottir[1], Professor, OsloMet – Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway

Heidi Biseth, Professor, University of South-Eastern Norway, Norway



The field of comparative and international education (CIE) has often involved questions surrounding the local and the global, by drawing attention to the ways in which everyday practice is embedded in its context and how this reflects wider policy expectations, which are often influenced by global ideas. In understanding the link between the global influence and local practice we are reminded of the book title by Arnove and Torres (2007) drawing our attention to a dialectic “at work between the global and the local” (p. 1). These authors highlight the need to understand the interactive process, the tensions and contradictions that are central in the CIE field.

In this general issue, we include a selection of articles that explore key actors and ways of knowing in the field, which according to Manzon (2018) is a constructed field. This general issue begins with an article by Parish who suggests that our ways of knowing include institutional logics in understanding the global/local nexus she includes a specific focus on human rights education. The next article in this issue is from Takala, Nordmark and Allard who focus their attention on the local level and even perhaps one could say the convergence of policy and practice. In this article, the authors draw attention to teacher education curricula not only as a way of knowing, but moreover, they attempt to highlight the way in which such curricula reflects scientific, professional, social, and ethical values as well as the goals and competences needed in education in Finnish and Swedish universities.

In an attempt to move beyond mere policy of curricula directives, Benediktsson, Woznicka, Tran and Ragnarsdóttir point to the need to understand immigrant students’ everyday university experiences in Iceland. For these researchers, the need to include culturally responsive teaching methods founded in the ideas of multicultural education are crucial to providing equal rights to education for all students regardless of origin. Kymlicka reminds us of “the risks of new narratives or rhetorics depend on how they interact with other narratives and rhetorics in the political domain” (Kymlicka, 2016 p. 167) such as those focusing on the rights to education for all. For the CIE field, these narratives include key actors and influence our ways of knowing. The remaining articles in this issue will continue to take up the dialectic at work and the challenges and tensions between the global and the local (Arnove & Torres, 2007).

In closing, it is important to draw attention to the upcoming Nordic Comparative and International Education Society (NOCIES) conference held in collaboration with Global CIE aimed at Understanding the Global in Comparative and International Education. According to the conference website[2]

The challenge is to identify, explore, and analyze the wealth of human agency involved in transforming comparative perspectives of and about the world. A long history of research in comparative education has confirmed that education is a pivotal arena, where identities are forged, geographical imaginaries built, and national development projects mobilized, while cultural, economic and political difference has generated very different national education systems. Today, national education formations are being increasingly crosscut and reworked by forces of globalization and policy promulgated in its name.

The goal is that the papers from the conference will contribute to our increased understanding of the tensions between the global and the local and in doing so connect and engage locally with others, while simultaneously understanding the global in the CIE field.



Arnove, R. F., & Torres, C. A. (2007). Comparative Education: The dialectic of the global and the local (3rd ed.). Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield.

Kymlicka, W. (2016). Defending Diversity in an Era of Populism: Multiculturalism and Interculturalism Compared. In N. Meer, T. Modood & R. Zapata-Barrero (Eds.), Multiculturalism and interculturalism: Debating the dividing lines (pp. 158-177). Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Manzon, M. (2018). Origins and traditions in comparative education: challenging some assumptions. Comparative Education, 54(1), 1-9. https://doi.org/10.1080/03050068.2017.1416820

[1] Corresponding author: hallab@oslomet.no

[2] NOCIES Biannual Conference and Global CIE Forum “Understanding the Global in Comparative and International Education” Stockholm, October 10-11, 2019 http://nocies.org/nocies%202019%20conference/call%20for%20papers%202019.html