National Differences, Global Similarities: World Culture and the Future of Schooling (Stanford Social Sciences) 1st Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-0804750219
ISBN-10: 0804750211
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National Differences, Global Similarities: World Culture and the Future of Schooling (Stanford Social Sciences) + Science in the Modern World Polity: Institutionalization and Globalization + Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism, Revised Edition
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Editorial Reviews

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"TIMSS represented a quantum leap over previous cross-national surveys of education achievement. The United States and other countries wanted to provide high-quality data that could be used to compare their education systems beyond the initial "horse-race" results. Baker and LeTendre's far-ranging analyses offer clear evidence that this goal was achieved."—Laura Salganik, Director, Education Statistics Services Institute, American Institutes for Research


"National Differences, Global Similarities is filled with cogen insights, counter-intuitive findings, convincing policy recommendations, and lucid predictions....Maybe Baker's and LeTendre's greatest accomplishment will be inspiring readers to think more deeply about seemingly well understood education topics."--Teachers College Record


"In this collaboration with several colleagues, David Baker and Gerald LeTendre provide their readers with a lucid, thoughtful report and interpretation of several cross-national indicators....a major merit of this book is the many questions it raises, inviting exciting discussions in educational foundations classrooms."


"Reading this book is like cycling through Tuscany on tree-shaded lanes—the ride is smooth, the going is easy, and the eye is repeatedly pleased by both great vistas and striking close-up views."—Contemporary Sociology

From the Inside Flap

Using American schools as a reference point, this book provides a comprehensive, comparative description of schooling as a global institution. Each chapter develops a story about a particular global trend: continuing gender differences in achievement, new methods nations employ to govern their schools, the rapidly increasing use of private tutoring, school violence, the development of effective curriculums, and the everyday work of teachers, among other topics.
The authors draw on a four-year investigation conducted in forty-seven countries that examined many aspects of K-12 schooling, such as how schools are run, what teachers teach, and what students learn in mathematics and science. Baker and LeTendre present the results of the study in a non-technical and accessible fashion, outlining the implications of current trends for both education policy discussions and theoretical explorations of the role of education in society. Running throughout the book is a discussion of how world educational trends and the forces behind them will work to change and shape the possible directions education may take in the future.

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Product Details

  • Series: Stanford Social Sciences
  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Stanford University Press; 1 edition (March 8, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804750211
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804750219
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #880,033 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Nemesis on June 1, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Having taught grade school children in Japan and in particular, one boy who was attending Kobe High School, the vehicle to Todai, I know first hand that while the author's assertions about minimal school teacher homework assignment are accurate, they grossly distort the true picture because their assertion about less homework in Japan becomes a premise for the conclusion of better performance. The premise however is false for 2 reasons.

First, the Japanese government cut back assignments in the 1990's, a "reform" that everyone is lamenting now and second, there has NEVER been a let up in tutoring or juku's and thus no abatement of homework assignments in Japan at any time. This means that their less homework/drills - better performance, - cause/effect pair is FALSE!

I will not speak about any other countries or other situations but this study is completely wrong on this point. The "kyoiku mama" has not vanished and if anything.........is about to make a strong surge due to the reaction to the "reform" from the past. It's unfortunate that books like this and Hofstede's fail to take into account culture and reality.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Oliver Jennings on April 28, 2009
Format: Paperback
This well-written and accessible book is ideally-suited as a textbook in comparative and international education as well as sociology of education seminars, both at undergraduate and graduate levels. The chapters, despite the wealth of quantitative data and analysis upon which they are based, form a seamless whole. The authors summarize the findings of key international studies (TIMSS, PISA) and use them to address crucial questions about the future of education around the world. In this relatively short book, of course, in-depth case studies are not possible, however, examples are provided that help the reader to reflect what cross-national benchmarks and standards mean for individual countries.
For anyone wishing to make sense of global forces and the sustained national differences found in national educational systems, this quintessential institutional analysis is a must-read!
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