The Mobility of Education Policy in the 21st Century: Lessons from Other Fields

  • Alan Ruby Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania
  • Aisi Li Nazarbayev University

Abstract

The ways information about national education policies is exchanged and interpreted is a field of comparative education that is under-developed. What discussion and analysis there is seems to ignore the insights and models prevalent in other domains. We looked to fields like political science, and economic and social development for concepts to strengthen the analysis of education policy mobility between nations. We found an abundance of metaphors most of which fail to capture key elements of policy diffusion including the notion that ideas change as they cross cultural boundaries. We observe that policy transfer can be purposefully initiated by the host as well as a product of coercion or external incentives. Our principal conclusions are that common framings of traveling education policies are linear, one-directional and marked by an air of beneficence. They overlook the importance of context and the actions of sovereign nations in policy formation.

Author Biographies

Alan Ruby, Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania
Alan Ruby is Senior Fellow at the Alliance for Higher Education and Democracy at the University of Pennsylvania
Aisi Li, Nazarbayev University
Aisi Li is Assistant Professor at Nazarbayev University
Published
2020-10-19
How to Cite
Ruby, A., & Li, A. (2020). The Mobility of Education Policy in the 21st Century: Lessons from Other Fields. FIRE: Forum for International Research in Education, 6(3), 83-93. https://doi.org/10.32865/fire202063187
Section
Research Essay