Mass and elite aspects of educational systems : a comparative analysis
Chapter One identifies areas of actual and potential confusion in the analysis of 'mass' and 'elite' education systems. It attempts to clarify the area of enquiry. The chapter concludes with a statement of a 'problem'. The problem is the relation between rapidly changing types of school and higher education institutions, and 'theories of general education'. Chapter Two continues the task of clarification by selecting and explaining the techniques of enquiry which are used to clarify the problem in England. The techniques are reviewed and the tradition within which the analysis is located is briefly identified. This chapter concludes the initial phase of problem analysis. Chapter Three undertakes the identification of the problem in different contexts, i.e. in four countries. It notes variations in the patternings of the problem. It considers selected aspects of the internal dynamics of educational systems in their relation to the problem. Chapter Four is a short abstract statement of the ways in which theories in general education are sustained; and thus potentially changed. Chapter Five offers some comment on the possibilities of changing the 'theory of general education' in England. 3 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I have been fortunate. In my formal education, I have been taught by four remarkable teachers. Of these, two have been Professor and Head of the Comparative Education Department at the University of London Institute of Education. The impact of these two men, Professor Lauwerys and Professor Holmes on comparative education students, for a period of time which is now approaching forty years, has been extensive and intensive. Extensive, in that their students are now teachers of comparative education all over the world. Intensive, in that the intellectual attraction of their teaching has often been so strong as to change the ways in which individuals see their lives. They had this effect on me. I thank them for their teaching. My particular debt to Professor Holmes will be clear, to specialists in comparative education, in the pages that follow. Here I would like to acknowledge a crucial departmental institution: the Holmes' research seminar which has been held fortnightly for many years now. The seminar is a normal part of the life of a research student in the department. Everyone attends, and regularly. I suppose most people attend because, like me, they find that their thought processes in difficult comparative analyses are, when fast, not rigorous enough for the seminar; and when rigorous, too slow. One learns. The learning is 'cumulative. It is possible to meet the standards expected in the seminar; occasionally. For the pressure to meet those standards, for the freely given energy of the teaching process, and for the example of how comparative education work might be well done, I acknowledge with great pleasure a permanent debt.