Comparing Cultures

  • Mark Mason
Part of the CERC Studies in Comparative Education book series (CERC, volume 19)

“Were the British truly imperialist?” asked the respected travel writer, Jan Morris (2005, p. 24). Does “The Chinese Learner” (Watkins & Biggs 1996) “invariably have a high regard for education”? Are “Asian students not only diligent, but also [possessed of] high achievement motivation”? (Lee 1996, p. 25). Do Finnish students enjoy some cultural advantage that enabled them to top the league tables produced by the 2000 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) administered by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development? (Välijärvi 2002). Was it appropriate for South Africa’s 1951 Eiselen Commission to state that “education practice must recognise that it has to deal with a Bantu child, trained and conditioned in Bantu culture, endowed with a knowledge of a Bantu language and imbued with values, interests and behaviour patterns learned at the knee of a Bantu mother”? (Kallaway 1984, p. 175). And was it valid then to declare, as did Hendrik Verwoerd, Minister of Native Affairs in 1954, that “there is no place for [the Bantu] in the European community above the level of certain forms of labour” (Kallaway 1984 p. 173)?


Cultural Identity National Culture Preschool Teacher Ethnographic Research Comparative Education 
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Copyright information

© Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark Mason
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of EducationThe University of Hong KongChina

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