The meaning and aim of comparative education– Essay

We have seen that Antoine Jullien started the study of comparative education. But now the scope of comparative education has been further enlarged.

Within comparative education, we now make an analysis of educational systems of various countries in order to understand their educational problems with a view to find out solutions of one’s own educational problems.

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In this attempt, we also try to understand the philosophical background of the country concerned, as the same influences the educational system. There are certain foundations of education which are universal. When we talk of the philosophical background, it implies that we have to make a study of the same impartially.

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We have already noted that political, cultural, social, religious and economic conditions influence the educational system of a country. Therefore, the purpose of the study of comparative education is also to study the conditions and factors that influence education in a land for then alone we may succeed in finding out solutions of educational problems.

The purpose of the study of comparative education is also to study those differences that make the education of a country different from that of another. In studying these differences, we also study the causative factors of the same.

We study the differences in the social, political, economic and religious situations which make various systems of education different from each other. However, let us not infer that the purpose of comparative education is to study the inherent differences in various educational systems.


The purpose is to study those general principles on which development of education in any country is based. Thus comparative education highlights the universality of general principles in the existing differences. Needless to say that comparative education aims at strengthening international unity by drawing our attention to the universal general principles.

The purpose of comparative education is also to understand why the educational systems of some countries are progressive and of others, backward. The administrative system of the land influences the state of the educational system.

For example, the administrative machineries of Switzerland, Canada, U.S.A. and Japan are combined with local autonomy and decentralised control. Consequently, in the educational systems of these countries, we find a reflection of their political philosophy.

Thus political philosophy and the administrative systems of various countries determine the administration and control of education. The purpose of comparative education is also to study these elements in their proper perspectives.


We have to keep in mind that besides an analytical approach, synthesis is also emphasized in the study of comparative education. In this synthesis an attempt is made to understand how a social structure and political philosophy have influenced education.

Thus, in comparative education we try to include the study of all these factors. Herein we study the impact of both formal and informal education. Consequently, we have included sociological basis of education as well; i.e., we study the place of social process, social control, social organisation and social change in the development of education of a country. Evidently, the scope of comparative education has become very comprehensive now.


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