Comparative Education (2020/2021)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Marcella Milana
Marcella Milana
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem. 2A, Sem. 2B

Lesson timetable

Go to lesson schedule

Learning outcomes

The course aims to provide the conceptual and methodological basis needed to analyse contextual characteristics, and training and development activities, in a comparative perspective, and to evaluate the relevance, adaptability or transferability of principles, methods and modes of intervention between contexts (local, national and international). By the end of the course students will be able to: - understand the principles of comparison and their application to the analysis of contexts, and of training and development interventions; - apply knowledge and understanding derived from comparative analysis to the development of training interventions (at local, national and international levels).  


The program is organised in 3 modules; the first module covers preparatory topics for the next module; the third module supports the preparation of an essay for the final examination.

Module 1: Introduction
• What is comparative education?
• The development of comparative education
• Practical implications

Module 2: Comparative Research
• Methodological approaches
• Unit of analysis

Module 3: Writing a comparative essay
• Choice of topic and structure of the text
• Research, validity and appropriateness of the sources of information
• Developing an argument through similarities and differences

All students are required to enrolling in the e-learning platform of the course.
At the beginning of the course:
- Students will be told which chapters from the Reference books (see below) shall be considered;
- Students will be informed about additional study material.
During the course:
- Students will be asked to identify additional study material through dedicated searches in academic journals.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Phillips, D., Schweisfurth, M. (eds.) Comparative and international education: An introduction to theory, method and practice (Edizione 2) Bloomsbury Publishing 2014 9781441122421
Mark Bray, Bob Adamson, Mark Mason Educazione comparata. Approcci e metodi di ricerca Franco Angeli 2016 9788856813104
Crossley, M., In Arthur, L., & In McNess, E. (eds) Revisiting Insider-Outsider Research in comparative and international education Symposium books 2016 978-1-873927-67-0

Assessment methods and criteria

The assessment of learning outcomes involves:
- the production of an essay
- an oral presentation


The purpose of this essay is for students to start developing a research topic that may be expanded into a presentation for a conference or conference or a thesis. The type and structure of the essay will be illustrated in detail during the course (module 3).

For the production of the essay, students should integrate the study of the reference texts and the recommended reading with the active search of articles or book chapters, also in foreign language, on the subject being studied.

The paper must be submitted electronically, following the instructions that will be communicated by the teacher through a dedicated "course news", at least 8 days in advance of the date of appeal in which the student intends to perform the oral presentation.


Using PowerPoint, students will have to present the essentials of their essay in a 15 minute presentation to be held on the date of the final examination. Following the presentation the teacher will pose some questions.


The essay is aimed at verifying:
- the ability to use and link the acquired knowledge;
- the ability to structure a written text of a comparative nature;
- the ability to analyse and argument;
- the property of language;
- the ability to locate, use, and appropriately cite the sources of information.

The oral presentation is intended to verify the ability to communicate to third parties, in a synthetic, clear and effective manner, the choice and relevance of the subject covered in the paper as well as the knowledge acquired through its production.