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Global perspectives on primary education
Global perspectives on primary education

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2 Primary education: why compare?

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Figure 1 Children and their Learning Assistant in a classroom in Sierra Leone, Africa.

Comparative education studies, broadly speaking, has two strands: large-scale cross-national comparisons that use numerical data to evaluate educational outcomes and achievements; and small-scale empirical comparisons (evidence gathered through first-hand observations, interviews or conversations) of teaching and learning in classrooms. Both approaches are valid, depending on what you wish to find out. In this course, you will learn a bit about each strand.