Second International Handbook of Mathematics Education

Volume 10 of the series Springer International Handbooks of Education pp 143-184

International Comparative Research in Mathematics Education

  • David ClarkeAffiliated withUniversity of Melbourne

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International comparative research is reviewed from the perspectives of methodology, implicit value systems, best practice, and mutuality of benefit. The evaluative/competitive emphasis of recent international comparative research is problematised on grounds of contextual (especially cultural) comparability and existing research reports are examined from an analytical perspective that emphasises the cultural specificity of not only the interpretation of data but of its potential to inform policy and practice. Central to the effective conduct and utilisation of international comparative research are considerations of ‘cultural authorship’ and ‘adaptive potential’. We study the mathematics classrooms of other countries not primarily for the purpose of adopting or even of adapting their practices but for the capacity of such research to support us in our reflection on our own practice. International comparative research must be collaboratively constituted and interpreted by each society in terms of the needs, goals, and resources pertaining to their own educational system.