COMPARATIVE EDUCATION POLICY PROJECT
This multidisciplinary research hub links researchers in political science, public policy, education, and others, including members of the broader policy community to examine change in education governance over time across OECD countries, to examine the politics surrounding the proliferation of school choice, and to explore the impact of school choice policies on factors such as citizenship and political and social inequality.
The Comparative Education Policy Project links a global research network of scholars and provides a platform for knowledge exchange between researchers, practitioners, policy makers, and the public.
The project examines all aspects of education governance including population segregation, school choice, vocational/academic tracking, services such as language training, and patterns of community involvement in school administration that affect student integration and ultimately student educational outcomes.
Some of the key issues the project aims to explore – beyond the political drivers of school choice – are the policy feedback effects, including the distributive inequalities resulting from the proliferation of school choice and private education, patterns of sorting and segregation in school systems resulting from the unequal distribution of resources, and the relationships between minority religious schools and the state.
The theoretical approach animating this project is broadly historical institutionalist and comparative with a particular focus on policy feedback effects, where the impact of policy developed in time A affects the political landscape in time B. Public policy scholars have identified two types of feedback effects: resource effects and interpretive effects. Resource effects occur by shifting the availability of economic, social, and political resources to individuals and groups affected by policy and by shifting the incentives facing other political and social actors. The design of public policies also has interpretive effects: researchers have posited that public policies affect how one views oneself in relation to other and in relation to the state. The purpose of this project is to investigate comprehensively both types of policy feedback effects in education, and more specifically, to explore how forms of governance and group power affect integration and other educational outcomes.
A key focusing event also animating our scholarly attention is the recent mass migration of refugees to a number of European countries which has triggered a large humanitarian effort as well as discussion of how to integrate refugee populations over the long term. Education services is a key factor affecting integration, as approximately half of the refugees are under the age of 18. We therefore welcome the involvement of researchers whose work addresses any aspect of this subject.