Influencing the other

Transnational actors and knowledge transfer in education

Authored by: Marcelo Parreira do Amaral

The Routledge Handbook of Transregional Studies

Print publication date:  November  2018
Online publication date:  November  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138718364
eBook ISBN: 9780429438233
Adobe ISBN:


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Knowledge transfer in education has a long history in the field and the broader traditions of comparative and international education. Although the transfer of knowledge across places pre-dates nation-states, the practice rose in importance in the course of the nineteenth century, exerting substantial influence in the shaping of modern national education systems. In addition, transfer processes have undergone substantial change since earlier eras that had been characterized by state-commissioned reports on foreign education systems. Currently, several (Regional) International Organizations, or (R)IOs, have become important sites of production and transfer of knowledge. These transnational actors are thus significantly shaping education around the world, and commanding more research enquires into the nature, consequences, and potential of knowledge transfer. This chapter first contextualizes the topic in the international research literature, particularly in historical terms. Second, it looks into (R)IOs as sites for the production and transfer of knowledge in education, considering specifically the nature, processes, and mechanisms of educational transfer. Third and finally, the chapter discusses the value of global or area studies in terms of enriching understanding of these transregional processes as well as outlining questions and issues meriting future research.

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