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Iran Comparative Education Association's President Message
The Meeting of General Assembly of Comparative Education Association of Iran

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Dear Friends and Researchers in All Fields of Humanities

Hello.

Thank you for being here.

 

As you may know, over the last half century,interest in comparative studiesin all fields of humanitieshas been on the rise. Either have the comparative studies in education. Actually, as Barry (2007) mentioned, no pedagogical research could be found which is not affected by comparative aspect. That is why Barry, Mason and Anderson [1] (2007) believethat 55 journals in 1997, more than 127 journals in 2001 and, 346 journals in 2003 have published, with a comparative approach, studies in the field of education. There isalsomore than 33 national associations of comparative education so far in different countries. They have coordinated their activities and have been exchanging their scientific experiencesunder the support of world council of comparative education societies (WCCES). Interest in comparative studies in different fields seems to be increasing in Iran. I have thoroughly explained the reason of this tendency in my book [2]. However, increasing competition among governments and nations for gaining the top scientific, economic and educational position could be the simplest reason. Thus, nowadays one of the most obvious things that researchers have in common is being interested in understanding the experiences of other nations in order to face the issues and problems that people have in common.

 

Meanwhile, what surprises many foreign researchers in the fields of comparative studies of education is why Iran– despite its previous and current backing – is not in a decent position. Let me give you an example;CIECLOPEDIA is an online data processing center or is actually a concise encyclopedia, which is about the biography of scientists and the researchers in the field of comparative education in the universe. The purpose of this encyclopedia is to provide information to all people who are interested in understanding that by whom and in which place of the world, the scientific richness of the field of human knowledge has been increased over the last few years and decades. Among the developing countries in the world, Iran is the only country whose two scientists are introduced as those who have greatly contributed to the growth and promotion of comparative studies in education in the cyclopedia: Dr. Isa Sadiq and Prof. Giti Schneider – Khamesi. Dr. Sediq is best-known among foreign comparative studies researchers for being the most pragmatic comparative educator in the world since he could implement many practically novel educational ideas in Iran in his time. Prof. Giti Schneider is an Iranian woman who has been the chairwoman of the American national education association more than two times and now she is one of the most famous experts in this field. In addition, there are many other Iranian scientists as famous as Sadiq and Khamesi in the world of comparative studies, but are unknown in this country.

 

Over the last decade, I have seen it many times that professors and researchers of universities and research institutes in different scientific fields have been intensively interested in gaining more information about comparative studies and its methodological foundations. I also have seen that many directors of research institutes have been interested in understanding the experiences of other communities, while they have found no experts to ask for further helps. Meantime, I know some experts in this country who have gained profound knowledge in different fields of comparative education. I also have seen many comparative researches as well which their methodologies have fundamentally left much to be desired while the researchers reached to top of their enthusiasm in this regard. Anyway, it should be ended soon.

 

Moreover, Iran’s educational system is facing new issues and challenges that would not be solved relying on previous experiences and inner view. Considering this debate, that is adoption and modeling from others a good or a bad idea has become an old topic in the scientific societies of the world for more than two decades. Thus, reconsidering it may indicate how far we are from the existing academic atmosphere of the world. Moreover, one-way adaption pattern from other advanced societies is not even desirable in west.Modern comparative education has indicated that educational innovations occur all over the world. Over the last decade, I have attended different international conferences as other university colleagues do and surprisingly, I have seen that many people – even more than the number of attendees in the meeting of researchers from famous countries – were enthusiastically present while I was presenting my article to know that what is happening in Iranian educational system.

 

While the countries around the Persian Gulf have formed a Comparative Education (CE) association with each other in recent years, or a newly established country such as Bosnia - as wide as the Hamadan province – has had an active association for more than 8 years; not withstanding Iran’s wealth of educated researchers and experts, turkey is the only country in the Middle East with an active CE association but we are still in the early stages and initial steps. During the last four years, a group of enthusiastic famous professors from all over the country's universities tried to moderately bridge this scientific gap by establishing the National Association of Comparative Education in Iran. Time being, the association has started its mission with two lofty but mutual goals. On the one hand, the association's first mission is to "look inward."We are utterly informed of the countless needs of the country's educational managers and research directors and decision-makers for "international awareness" to render determinations. Also, all of us have the common experience of asking ourselves, "What have foreign researchers done about this and where is the world now?" The thirst for attention to comparative studies was so evident in the association's acceptancein public attention, that despite our promise we could not make phone calls to each of the ones whom we were requested to make contact with (due to the need to contact more than 200 people in a short time). We understand your sensibilities and we know what gaps the association should fill.The founders of the association desire to be able to develop a strong scientific stock of human resources familiar with innovative methods and approaches of comparative research in Iran during a ten-year program. This is the primary purpose of the association which has been constituted on the basis of "look inside". This goal should be achieved by introducing, promoting and presenting comparative research methods through holding national and international meetings, workshops and conferences and publishing scientific journals. In this regard, we invite all those who pay attention to the issues of education and comparative studies in their scientific and professional activities, to become a member of the association.

 

The second mission of the association is based on "looking out", that is, to improve Iran's position in the comparative studies of education. Contrary to conventional wisdom, Iranian researchers have lots of talks in education which are requested to be heard globally. First and foremost, the association aspires to make arrangements for Iran to join WCCES: World Council of Comparative Education Societies over the next year. The association also strives to build bridges between Iranian and foreign researchers in order to increase the number of joint studies. We have tried to facilitate the presence of foreign researchers in various scientific projects -with emphasis on the comparative studies- in our country and to approve the presence of Iranian researchers in the International Scientific Journal.

 

To achieve these two noble purposes, the first step is to recognize the scientific capacity and professional and research capabilities of Iranian society. The Association of Comparative Education has an interdisciplinary nature. Thus, it opens the doors of the all the adherents of comparative studies in all specialized fields related to education. Therefore, we appreciate all the enthusiasts who have joined the association so far, and sincerely ask them to be our messengers and introduce the association to other researchers. We also try to do our best to take the necessary action to identify and determine the potent members in each of the provinces of our country to establish provincial centers. Another point that the association hasn't been unmindful of is catching help and support from the endless reserve of science and knowledge of thoughtful teachers and educators living all over the country with tons of knowledge and experience. The purpose of the association is to identify these valuable researchers and provide opportunities for them to transfer their knowledge to other keen researchers through holding workshops. We believe that many of our members, with their baggage of comparative studies' experience, can assist in the education of our country better than any other official assembly.

 

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[1] Bray, Mark; Mason, Mark and Adamson, Bob. (2007). Comparative research in education: approach and method. (Translated by Abbas Madandar Arani and Parvin Abbasi, 2011), Tehran: Ayizh Publishing

 

[2] Madandar Arani, Abbas and Kakia, Lida (1394). Comparative Education: New Perspectives. Tehran: Ayizh Publishing

Information

The Iranian Association of Comparative Education was established in 2015 in order to expand, promote and foster the science of comparative education and strengthen institutions, universities, and educational-research organizations and improve specialized activities in related fields. The main goals and services of the association are as follows:

1. attempting to create suitable grounds for knowledge production in both higher education and education systems

2. Dissemination and development of comparative scientific research at three levels: national, regional, and international

3. Providing scientific-professional advice in various fields to the executive, educational-research organizations, especially universities and higher education institutions and the Department of Education and Human Resources of all ministries.

4. Encouraging researchers and glorifying the faculty members who contribute to the growth and excellence of the science of comparative education which is of great help to the advancement of its goals.

5. Organizing public gatherings at the national, regional, and international levels with the intention of examining the issues and problems of the two systems of education and higher education from the perspective of comparative studies

6. Cooperation with national and international associations, organizations, and scientific centers that are active in the field of comparative education science.

7. Establishing scientific-specialized networks of national and international elites and thinkers and facilitating the communication between them

8. Publication of scientific journals and books.

9. Providing educational, research, and consulting services through holding scientific workshops and other conventional methods.

 
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