Table of Contents

We were stimulated by celebrations around the 40th Anniversary of Canada-China Relations in 2010 to design a project that would look specifically at large scale national level efforts at collaboration between Canadian and Chinese universities from 1983 to 2001. After the devastation of the Cultural Revolution, Canada was the only Western country that concentrated its development aid on higher education in China, and the projects it supported were quite different from those of the World Bank, which focused on infrastructural development. CIDA projects supported a large number of university linkages in the areas of education, agriculture, environment, health and management studies, with a particular emphasis on collaboration in the development of faculty and of new courses.
Our project intends to reflect on the historical contribution made by the universities and other social institutions on both sides that were involved in these linkages. What kind of long-term impact can be traced, and what lessons have been learned? How did the projects specifically address areas of knowledge that were crucial to China’s rapid transition towards the position of economic and geo-political leadership it holds today in the world community? What new synergies are now emerging between universities in the two countries that might be built upon in new forms of collaboration?
To answer these questions we are connecting with participants in past projects in many parts of Canada and China. Our project team includes Ruth Hayhoe (OISE/LHAE), Julia Pan (OISE/LHAE), Qiang Zha (York), Phirom Leng (OISE/LHAE), and Qin Liu (OISE/LHAE).


Principal Investigator

Dr. Ruth Hayhoe  (OISE/LHAE)


Dr. Julia Pan (OISE/LHAE)

Dr. Qiang Zha (York University)

Research Team

Phirom Leng    Ph.D. candidate (OISE/LHAE)

Qin Liu            Ph. D. candidate (OISE/LHAE)

Background Publications

Project Publications

Ruth Hayhoe, Julia Pan, & Qiang Zha. (2013). Lessons from the legacy of Canada-China university linkages.

许美德(Ruth Hayhoe), 潘乃容,查强. (2012 in Chinese). 关于中加大学合作的历史性反思 (Historical reflections on Canada-China university linkages).

Phirom Leng & Julia Pan. (2013). The issue of mutuality in Canada-China educational collaboration.

Phirom Leng. (2014). University linkages and international development assistance: Lessons from Canada-China experience.

Related Literature

Huhua Cao & Vivienne Poy. (Eds.) (2011).The China challenge: Sino-Canadian relations in the 21st century.

B. (Bernie) Michael Frolic. (2011). Canada-China at 40 – with a response from Ruth Hayhoe.

Edward T. Jackson (2003). How university projects produce development results.

Niels Klabunde (2009). Translating the Olympic Spirit into a Canadian-Chinese year of education and sciences.

Maire O’Brien. (2000). The implementation of CIDA’s China program: Resolving the disjuncture between structure and process (Doctoral thesis). York University.

Julia Pan. (1996). The role of Canadian universities in international development: A case study of the Canada-China university linkage program (Doctoral thesis). University of Toronto.

Pitman B. Potter & Thomas Adams. (Eds.) (2011). Issues in Canada-China relations.

Jennifer Wilson (2001). A history of CIDA’s China program.

Qiang Zha. (2011). Canadian and Chinese collaboration on education: From unilateral to bilateral exchanges.

Activities & Conferences


University of Regina, under the auspice of Social Science and Humanity Research Council of Canada, hosted a Symposium on Canada-China Relations: Past, Present and Future in October 2011.  The symposium was part of celebration of the 40th anniversary of Canada-China Diplomatic Relations established in 1971.

The aim of this academic symposium was to create a conversation between established and newer scholars on various aspects of Canada-China relations, updating the developments and outcomes of the bilateral joint activities in the last two decades.  The 40+ participants were mostly scholars from various Canadian universities who were involved in Canada-China joint research and exchange works, plus representatives from Canadian government departments such as DEFAIT and Library and Archives Canada.

Professor Paul Evans, the Director of the Institute for Asian Research, University of British Columbia delivered the keynote speech “Beyond Engagement: Canada and China 2020”, and another special dinner guest speaker was Mr. Norman Webster, the former Editor-in-chief and former Peking Bureau Chief, the Global and Mail, who had witnessed and recorded the Canada-China diplomatic relations in the last 40 years.

Qiang Zha and Julia Pan made a joint presentation on “Canada-China University Linkages in a New Era of Global Geo-Politics” in the opening session, and a paper entitled “A Historical Reflection on Canada-China University Linkage, co-authored by Ruth Hayhoe, Julia Pan and Qiang Zha is to be published in the symposium proceeding book in 2012. Its main points are found in a book chapter we have contributed to a new publication put out by the Chinese Ministry of Educaiton. See the second project publication above.


Research Trip to Quebec City, Montreal and Ottawa in September 2012

The project team made a research trip to Quebec City, Montréal and Ottawa in late September 2012.  The itinerary included visiting the Faculty of Medicine at Université Laval, the Department of Geography and the Law School of Université de Montréal, as well as the offices of CIDA and the AUCC in Ottawa. The trip concluded with an evening lecture at the National Archives in Ottawa, under the auspices of the Canada-China Friendship Society.  (Read the whole report here)

Seminar at the Institute of Asian Research, UBC, May  2012

“Past and Future in Canadian University Linkages with China: Best Practices and Next-Generation Challenges”

In this interview, based on a lecture at The University of British Columbia in May 2012, Dr. Hayhoe reflects on the arc of previous Canada-China  education projects, Canada’s legacy, and mutual learning and lessons for each state partner.

Interview with Dr, Ruth Hayhoe:


Click to Watch Part I   Part II

Date: May 9-10, 2014

Location: Tsinghua University, Beijing

Sponsoring Organizations: Tsinghua University, the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto,  York University.

This conference brought together leaders and scholars involved in cooperative linkages between Chinese and Canadian universities across the fields of agriculture, education, engineering, environment, marine sciences, medicine, management, law and minority cultures between 1982 and the early 21st century. Keynote speakers analysed the long-term contribution of these projects, which were supported by the Canadian International Development Agency and spanned a dynamic and important period in the socio-economic development of China as well as Canada. Concurrent papers illustrated ways in which the legacy of these projects are stimulating current cooperation between universities in Canada and China. Canadian Universities in China’s Transformation: An Untold Story was published by McGill Queens University Press in June of 2016. It contains 12 chapters developed from keynote papers, as well as an Introduction and Conclusion, while papers that did not become book chapters are available on this website. Powerpoints mounted under the names of keynote and concurrent speakers provide detailed and vivid documentation of the history of collaboration in each field. A special issue of Frontiers of Education in China containing six papers from concurrent sessions on Canada-China educational cooperation came out in September of 2015 and a second one on Minority Studies in China came out in December of 2016. Additional background literature is also available on the link to the project website below.

NEW BOOK: Canadian Universities in China’s Transformation Book Launch

Conference Handbook

Conference Content Hub

In the fall of 2005, CIDA funded an eight-country desk study to help inform its efforts to support civil society participation in education sector-wide programs. The study was carried out by a research team lead by Professor Karen Mundy – Director of CIDEC at OISE/UT – and supported by a smaller team under Professor Richard Maclure at the University of Ottawa. Building on this initial desk research, field-based studies were then conducted in Burkina Faso, Kenya, Mali and Tanzania through the funding of CIDA and the IDRC. In this study, we were interested in providing a baseline assessment of those civil society organizations (CSOs) involved in education sector processes, with a focus on better understanding the nature and extent of CSO activities and capacities in the area of education governance. Consequently, the study offers insight and information which can be usefully applied to the development of specific mechanisms to enhance the participation of CSOs in basic education within the context of the new aid architecture.

Final Report on Basic Education, Civil Society Participation and the New Aid Architecture: Lessons from Burkina Faso, Kenya, Mali and Tanzania

Executive Summary

Country Desk Studies

A cross-case report was produced which offers a brief overview of the research study and highlights some of the initial findings from the desk studies. The review is preliminary and descriptive, with analysis and generalizable findings being the focus of our field studies of Burkina Faso, Kenya, Mali and Tanzania.

Civil Society Participation and the Governance of Educational Systems in the Context of Sector-Wide Approaches to Basic Education (.pdf)

Country Studies

Field Studies

Field-based studies were conducted in Burkina Faso, Kenya, Mali and Tanzania through the funding of CIDA and the IDRC. Two master theses also came out of this study.

Masters Theses

Cherry, S. (2007). The quality of civil society participation in national education sector policy processes: A case study of Mali. Masters thesis. University of Toronto.

Haggerty, M. (2007). Strategies and sucesses in influencing education policy change: A study of the Tanzanian education network (TEN/MET). Masters thesis. University of Toronto. 

Project Goals

  • To provide a baseline assessment of the current capacities of civil society organizations in case countries to engage effectively in governance of the education sector.
  • To provide insight into the quality and effectiveness of civil society participation in the planning and implementation of sector-wide reform initiatives that CIDA and its development partners are currently pursuing.
  • To propose specific mechanisms to enhance the participation of national civil society organizations in the development and implementation of national education sector plans.
  • To investigate possibilities for a longer-term collaborative program of support for Southern civil society organizations interested in joining with Southern and Northern research and policy institutions to become more effective education policy advocates and partners.

In addition, the study aimed to produce a state-of-the-art piece of comparative research that analyzes issues of governance, educational change and the role of civil society organizations across a series of case countries. Cross-case comparison was used to better understand the sources of variation in the character, capacity, and scope for civil society participation in education sector policy and governance activities. It also helped us identify best practices and model initiatives for civil society engagement in the education sector.For further project information, please see:
IDRC Project Brochure (.pdf)


Principal Investigator

Dr. Karen Mundy (OISE/UT)


Dr. Richard Maclure (University of Ottawa)

Research Team

Suzanne Cherry, MA (OISE/UT)

Megan Haggerty, MA (OISE/UT)

Caroline Manion, Ph.D. (OISE/UT)

Colette Mvoto Meyong (Ph.D. Candidate, University of Ottawa)

Natalie Poulson, MA (OISE/UT)

Malini Sivasubramaniam-Davis (Ph.D. Candidate, OISE/UT)


The Civil Society and Education Governance project has benefited from the funding and technical assistance provided by the following partners:

Additional Resources on Civil Society Organizations and Education

Driving the Bus: The Journey of National Education Coalitions (.pdf)

Evolving Partnerships: The Role of NGOs in Basic Education in Africa (.pdf)

Funding Change: Sustaining Civil Society Advocacy in Education (.pdf)

National Civil Society Education Funds: A Briefing Paper (.pdf)

Local Solutions to Global Challenges: Towards Effective Partnership in Basic Education: Final Report (.pdf)

2005 Global Mid-Term Review Report (.pdf) & Appendices (.pdf)

A RICE/CIDEC compendium… [link to report pdf]


Edited by

Sarfaroz Niyozov, Associate Professor, CIDEC, OISE, University of Toronto  & Paul Tarc, Associate Professor, RICE, University of Western Ontario

What are global best practices? What is the character of these so-called best practices, their conceptual underpinnings and routes of assemblage? Which ‘best practices’ are travelling, how, and to which ‘local’ educational domains? How are they interpreted and engaged in local contexts and what are their effects? And ultimately, how are progressive and critically-minded educators to work with, against and despite global ‘best practices?’

To address these conditions and questions as framed above, a symposium for Ontario based comparative and international educators and researchers was convened at the Ontario Institute of Studies of Education, University of Toronto on April 25, 2014. This forum was a collaborative project between the two comparative and international education centers in Ontario: Western University’s Research in International and Contemporary Education (RICE) and OISE’s Comparative, International and Development Education Center (CIDEC). Though small in scope and modest in its format, this symposium proved to be a unique opportunity for Canadian education scholars, practitioners, and graduate students to converge and to critically and collectively engage these questions. Twelve faculty and twenty graduate students from Universities of Toronto, York, Western and Ottawa served as panelists and discussants.

Professor Gita Steiner-Khamsi, a leading scholar in the field of educational borrowing and lending, from Teachers College, Columbia University gave the keynote address. In addition 80 participants from Ontario’s education faculties, NGOs and government agencies attended this one-day intensive symposium.

The graduate student panelists were invited to submit written extensions of their presentations after the symposium to produce  a report. About half of the graduate student panelists contributed to the compendium. Symposium organizers Paul Tarc and Sarfaroz Niyozov wrote the introduction and  keynote, Gita Steiner-Khamsi, contributed the afterword.

See compendium

Characteristics of Elementary Schools Achieving Consistently High or Low Percentages of Students at the Provincial Standard on EQAO Assessments (May 2013)

This study was commissioned by Ontario’s Education Quality and Accountability Office and led by Dr. Stephen Anderson.  The study investigates and compares characteristics and factors associated with school effectiveness in a sample of 22 Ontario elementary schools. The schools were selected for variation in performance levels on the provincial accountability tests (high vs. low performing) and student SES characteristics (high/average SES, low SES). In each school the data included a survey administered to all K-6 teachers, individual interviews with two primary and two junior division teachers, principal interviews, and focus group interviews with 5-6 teachers, parents, and grades 5-6 students.  The survey inquired about teachers’ professional practices (e.g., instructional and assessment methods, collaboration with other teachers, professional learning, data use), teacher beliefs (e.g., sense of efficacy), principal leadership, and parental involvement.  The interviews asked teachers to comment on teaching practices, school goals, professional collaboration, professional development, school and community characteristics, school improvement activities, and parental involvement.

The authors incude: Stephen E. Anderson, Joelle Rodway-Macri,  Anna Yashkina, and Daniela Bramwell.


This resource provides teachers and other educational stakeholders with a range of ideas and practices for teaching and learning about citizenship within today’s global context.  It is intended that this resource will be helpful to those who are critically considering ways in which global perspectives might be infused into our classes and school-wide programs.  The ideas and practices were investigated, developed, and piloted by practicing teachers and teacher educators in school settings in the Toronto area with the support of the Canadian International Development Agency’s Global Classroom Initiative.


Bickmore, K., Hayhoe, R., Manion, C., Mundy, K., & Read, R. (Eds). (2017). Comparative and international education: Issues for teachers (2nd ed.). Toronto: Canadian Scholars Press.

Click here to access the list of suggested resources to complement the second edition
Click here to reach the Ask the Authors film series.
Click here to watch guest lectures by the authors.

CIE Issues for Teachers Book Front CoverThe Project

The first edition of this anthology grew out of a collaborative effort among faculty in the Comparative, International, and Development Education Centre at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto (OISE, UT). Convinced of the value of introducing pre-service and practicing educators to comparative and international educational research linked to their professional concerns, we produced a text that offers broad exposure to international issues and explores education in diverse cultural settings.

In this second edition, we have expanded our scope, adding nine new authors, including some pre-eminent comparative education scholars from around the world.  All chapters have been updated and revised. We have added two entirely new chapters: one on human rights education (Chapter Eight by Monisha Bajaj); and one examining the internationalization of schooling   (Chapter Twelve by Julia Resnik). Additionally, this second edition includes a more specific definition of the field, addressed to teachers and their interests (Chapter One), more on teachers and their involvement in international education, and a stronger focus on issues of diversity and social justice education.

In this new edition, we have organized the chapters into three thematic sections, to facilitate critical comparative thinking: a) (Re)Forming schooling: philosophy, policy and school organization; b) Justice, knowledges for change, and social inclusion; c) Education in the world system: Globalization and development. Through these in-depth portrayals of educational issues, perspectives and practices in a wide range of world contexts, we hope to stimulate readers to think comparatively and critically about their own educational practices and experiences.

The book is designed as a resource for initial and continuing teacher education and graduate education. Each chapter introduces major issues within the field of comparative and international education, highlighting significant research contributions, educational practices, and implications for teachers within each topic. The authors draw on comparative research from the Americas, Australia, Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. We have used the Canadian context as a case study in a few chapters; however, the concepts presented are easily extended to various North American and even global contexts.

Instructors who wish to use this book as a class text may choose to follow the given order of chapters and sections, or to change the order according to their course objectives. There are cross-references throughout the text to link learning across the various chapters and to highlight common themes. At the end of each chapter, key questions for reflection and discussion, along with a list of suggested readings, are intended to stimulate discussion about the chapter contents in relation to learners’ own experience and teaching goals. Each chapter is also paired with at least one suggested audio-visual resource, carefully selected to provide students with an opportunity to “experience” education in other cultures and contexts without having to leave the classroom. You can find the complete list below with links to all resources. In our own courses using this text at OISE, UT, the films provoked animated debate and discussion, offering participants a visceral feeling for the challenges and rewards of exploring educational issues through a comparative lens. 

Suggested Audio-Visual Resources for the Second Edition

Chapter 1

Finland Phenomenon: Inside the World’s Most Surprising Education System (2011)

Part 1 of 4 available at:

This film comparatively explores the Finnish and US education systems, the former being amongst the highest performing systems in the world. Using observation and interviews with students, teachers, parents, administrators and government officials, the film seeks to highlight the factors of success characterizing the education system in Finland and then use these to suggest gaps or areas where the US may learn and improve. Topics include, but are not limited to, teacher recruitment and training, curriculum, organization of schooling, pedagogy, system reform and vision, and the wider policy, socio-cultural, economic and political context. The film can serve as an excellent resource for studying and thinking about what makes an education “successful” and the challenges of applying lessons learned from one system to another.   [running time is 60 minutes]

Chapter 2

Strong Performers and Successful Reformers in Education (2012)

The video clips listed below, each about 15 to 20 minutes, were made by the Pearson Foundation. They draw lessons from China, Japan, Korea and Singapore, all Confucian heritage societies, which have been superior performers among all participating countries in the OECD Programme for international Student Assessment (PISA).  It provides the world’s most extensive and rigorous set of international surveys assessing the knowledge and skills of secondary school students. Behind the stunning performance of their students, these superior East Asian performers all share similar Confucian values of education, though they differ from each other in educational applications.

Preschool in Three Cultures: Japan, China and the United States (1991 updated in 2009)

Part 1 available at

In this film Joseph Tobin explores the similarities and differences among the three cultures. Viewers watch preschool children go about their daily activities and hear Tobin explain how teachers from the other two cultures responded to the structure, discipline and activities of each class. Part 1 of an updated version done in 2009 can be found on, while both DVDs (1991 and 2009) can be purchased from the following website:

Chapter 3

Education through Imagination (2002)

Available at:

This short film (approximately 20 minutes) explains the non-formal educational programs offered by the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC). BRAC’s creative responses to rural community learning emphasize the power of the imagination through child-friendly, gender-empowered, ethnically integrated, and community participatory schooling. Viewers watch the daily school activities while the narrator explains the philosophies behind the many non-formal educational programs that BRAC supports.

BRAC Education Program (2011)

Available at:

This short (13:58) video provides a relatively recent overview of the BRAC Education Programme in Bangladesh and includes footage of BRAC classrooms and the activities of teachers and learners. Viewers can learn more about the program’s history, philosophy, and objectives as well as specific details concerning the program’s organization, teachers/teacher development, pedagogy, and learning materials.

Revolutionizing a School System: Vicky Colbert’s Escuela Nueva in Colombia (2014)

Available at:

This short video (approximately 5 minutes) presents a brief overview of the Escuela Nueva model, including key innovations in terms of teacher training, curriculum, pedagogy and organization. The experiences and perceptions of current and former Escuela Nueva students and teachers in Colombia are used to illustrate the value and success of the EN methodology.

Maravillas (2013)

Available at:

This documentary presents the story of the Learning Community Project as experienced by students, teachers, and Learning Community Project (LCP) leaders.

Education Innovation in the Slums (2010)

Available at:

In this Ted Talk, Charles Leadbeater presents some of the key lessons he learned in his exploration of over 100 education innovations across the world. He offers some examples of these innovations to argue that some of the most powerful innovation in education often takes place in emerging economies, where huge needs, unmet demand open opportunities, and even make it necessary, to depart from conventional solutions, which are too costly and ineffective in serving the needs of historically marginalized populations.

Chapter 4

Almaz (2010)

Available at:   

This documentary film reflects rural aspirations and life in Kyrgyzstan by following the story of Almaz, a boy who was forced to leave school to work to help support his family after they moved from a rural area into the city. However, despite many hardships, Almaz does not give up and is able to return to school, ultimately participating in an exchange that takes him to the Netherlands. This inspiring story destroys stereotypes and presents Almaz as a new hero of our time.

Chapter 5

Choosing the Wrong and Right Educational Drivers (2012).

Available at:

Park Manor Public School (2014).

Michael Fullan is Professor Emeritus from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. Professor Fullan’s website,, contains an archive of short (e.g., three-minute) videos that are accessible for use at no cost on many topics related to educational change. Two videos that we recommend for starters are the three-minute Choosing the Wrong and Right Educational Drivers for productive change, and the 13-minute Park Manor Public School, which features the story of a school in Waterloo, Ontario, that successfully transformed itself from a low-performing to a high-performing school.

Chapter 6

Deepening Knowledge Project OISE’s Aboriginal Peoples Curricula Database.

Available at:

The Deepening Knowledge Project seeks to infuse Aboriginal peoples’ histories, knowledges and pedagogies into all levels of education in Canada. The project is a part of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, which is located on the territories of Anishinaabe and Onkwehonwe peoples.

On this site you’ll find information about the history and traditions of First Nations, Métis, Inuit and Native American cultures, information about the challenges facing Aboriginal communities today, and curricula for incorporating this information into your teaching practice

Hi-Ho Mistahey! by Alanis Obomsawin (2013).

Available at:

This documentary tells the story of Shannen’s Dream, a national campaign to provide equitable access to education in safe and suitable schools for First Nations children, which eventually brings Shannen’s Dream all the way to the United Nations in Geneva.

It’s Not an Opinion, It’s a Fact: Aboriginal Education in Canada (2012).

Available at:

This YouTube video highlights the impacts of gaps in Aboriginal education and the opportunities to improve the quality of life for all Canadians.

Chapter 7

Girl Rising (2013)

Available at:  

Directed by Academy Award–nominated director Richard E. Robbins, this documentary on girls’ education highlights the experiences of schooling of nine girls from a wide range of developing country contexts (Sierra Leone, Haiti, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Peru, Egypt, Nepal, India, and Cambodia) within the global discussions of the topic.

Chapter 8

Path to Dignity: The Power of Human Rights Education (2012)

Available at:

This open-access film directed by Ellen Bruno offers a global picture of human rights education and offers three case studies, one of which is on the Institute of Human Rights Education/People’s Watch.

The Revolutionary Optimists (2013).

Available at:

Learn about non-formal education efforts that seek to empower young people as agents of change in Kolkata’s slums.

He Named Me Malala (2015).

Available at:

This film, directed by Davis Guggenheim, profiles the courageous young Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by the Taliban for advocating for girls’ right to education in Pakistan.

Chapter 9

British Council’s 5 step guide to teaching critical thinking skills and global citizenship (2013).

Available at:

Schools from the United Kingdom, Kenya, and South Africa work together to create critical thinking teaching resources in this British Council–funded project. In this 20-minute video, pupils from Jo Slovo Freedom High School, Molteno, Eastern Cape discuss a Guardian photograph of slums next to a hotel in South America.

Teachers TV: KS2 Citizenship—Global Issues (2015).

Available at:

This program, directed by Richard Wyllie looks at how resources like those supplied by NGOs, such as Comic Relief, can enhance KS2 citizenship lessons.

Chapter 10

Oasis of Peace (2007)

Available at:

This 27-minute film shows the approaches and challenges of a bilingual bicultural school in Israel, called Neve Shalom-Wahat al-Salam (Oasis of Peace), where Jewish and Palestinian children are taught together in their own languages.

Peace Process: Belfast Schools (2010).  

Available at:

In this five-minute video, staff from two Belfast schools, one Protestant and one Catholic, explain how they get their pupils to integrate and bring about a sense of community cohesion between their schools.

Chapter 11

The First Grader (2010)

Available at:

Set in a remote Kenyan community, this film follows an 84-year-old man fighting for his right to receive education. This true story highlights the complexity of providing free primary education for all in Kenya.

Back to School

Available at:

Back to School, the second part of the Time for School film series, follows the school experiences of seven children in seven different countries, trying to beat the odds and get an education. The series attempted to document the experiences of these children to 2015, the year the international community targeted for universal access to primary education.

FreshEd Podcast # 50 – Setting the stage for the CIES Global Learning Metrics with Karen Mundy

Available at:

In this podcast, hosted by Will Brehm, Karen Mundy discusses how education fits into the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and how the global community will measure progress towards education for all under the new SDG umbrella.

Chapter 12

South Korea—Robotic Avatars to Teach English (2014)

Available at:

In order to overcome a shortage of English teachers, South Korea piloted a program in which robotic avatars, “manned” virtually by Philippine teachers, were introduced in elementary schools to assist teachers in the classroom. It has proven to be very popular with South Korean students, and therefore the government will extend its use throughout the country.

Chapter 13

Instead of selecting a film for this chapter, we suggest that instructors explore with students the activities and audio-visual resources provided on international assessment websites. Holding this class in a computer lab would be ideal.

a)     Explore TIMSS questions:  

b)    Explore PISA questions:

c)     Watch footage of math and science classrooms around the world from the TIMSS 1999 Video Study:

d)    Compare and contrast the videos above with the OECD/Pearson video series “Strong Performers and Successful Reformers”:

Supplemental Resources

We hope to provide further resources for faculty and students using this anthology. Please check this site often as we will continue to upload lectures, Powerpoint presentations, and recommended films, internet sites, etc.

In order to support broader use of the textbook, our centre developed an Ask the Authors film series with matching funds from the University of Toronto’s Instructional Technology and Course Development Fund. Each of the authors answered three questions: What are the main themes of your chapter; How does the field of comparative and international education contribute to the discussion of these themes; and What can teacher candidates and current teachers learn from the comparative perspective of your topic? The films are also available as a podcast.

Guest Lecturers

Ruth Hayhoe was invited to give the keynote lecture for the 2008 Monolith Lecture Series, a collaborative lecture series with five universities across the globe. Her lecture was based on Chapter Two “Philosophy and Comparative Education: What Can We Learn from East Asia?”. Click here for the lecture; it begins with an introduction to the Monolith Lecture Series. The lecture was followed by a question and answer session

Ask the Authors Film Series

Chapter One: Introduction to Comparative and International Education: Why Study Comparative Education? With Ruth Hayhoe and Karen Mundy

Chapter Two: Philosophy and Comparative Education: What Can We Learn from East Asia? With Ruth Hayhoe

Chapter Four: Comparative Indigenous Ways of Knowing and Learning With Katherine Madjidi and Jean-Paul Restoule
Chapter Nine: Gender and Education With Kara Janigan and Vandra Masemann

Project Lead: Stephen Anderson and Karen Mundy, January –June 2014

This consultancy was carried out under contract for the Aga Khan Foundation Canada (AKFC)  to assist the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) with consolidating thinking around school improvement in the context of the AKDN’s experience and work. This assignment involved a review and consolidation of the AKDN’s experience to date in school improvement in Africa and Asia; a summary of relevant international research on school improvement; and planning and facilitating a one-day meeting that brought together relevant AKDN staff with thought leaders in this area to share information on the state of the knowledge on school improvement and to map out potential areas for future focus and amplified impact.  The invited external scholars included Andy Hargreaves (Boston College), Penny Sebring (University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research); and Luis Crouch (RTI International).  A final discussion paper entitled “School Improvement in Developing Countries: A Synthesis of Experiences and Lessons Learned” by Professors Anderson and Mundy was submitted in September 2014.  Professor Anderson participated in a panel discussion based on the major themes and findings of the discussion paper organized by AKFC in Ottawa (February 12, 2015)  for Canadian international development agencies involved in school improvement  work in developing countries.

Click here for Report

The Aga Khan Foundation Canada and the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (formerly CIDA) sponsor the Strengthening Education Systems in East Africa (SESEA) project  a five year primary education improvement initiative in East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda).  As part of this initiative the Learning and Dialogue component of the SESEA project commissioned OISE Professors Stephen Anderson and Karen Mundy to conduct a needs assessment of current education research priorities in the region and to advise on the development of a Call for Proposals for research supported by SESEA.  The research agenda setting process included the production of several rapid reviews to synthesize research-based knowledge, issues and knowledge gaps identified in the literature concerning the following thematic areas: teaching and learning, teacher development, school management and leadership, and parent and community involvement.  The rapid reviews were undertaken with the support of several graduate students, including: Magdalena Fernandez, Daniela Bramwell, Emily Quinan and Momina Afridi.  Robyn Read designed and coordinated the rapid review methodology.

The final documents included in this series of rapid reviews focused primarily on knowledge from extensive systematic reviews of the literature related to the sub-themes of this series, supplemented by recent empirical studies of particular relevance to East Africa and other developing country contexts.  The list of key documents synthesized for this review of teaching and learning appear in the references at the end of each review. 


Stephen Anderson, Momina Afridi, Daniela Bramwell, Magdalena Fernandez, Karen Mundy, Emily Quinan and Robyn Read

Rapid Reviews:

Teaching and Learning: A Rapid Review of the Literature

Teachers and Teacher Development: A Rapid Review of the Literature

Parent and Community Involvement in Education: A Rapid Review of the Literature

Education Management and Leadership: A Rapid Review of the Literature

A joint initiative between the Aga Khan Foundation Canada (AKFC) and the Government of Canada, through the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD).

UNICEF asked Dr. Mundy and her team to develop a study that would provide a snapshot of how global citizenship was being taught in the Canadian classroom.  The report covers all 13 provinces and territories in Canada, focusing on grades four through six.  This study addresses two questions:

  • What is the current state of global education inside Canadian elementary schools, and how is this being supported by schools, districts, and provincial ministries, as well as by non-governmental (NGO) partners?
  • How can Canadian organizations (including UNICEF) better encourage and support global education in Canadian schools?


Dr. Stephen Anderson, Dr. Mary Drinkwater, Dr. Caroline Manion, Wesley Galt (OISE)

Dr. Maina Gioko, Rose Iminza, Isaiah Njagi, Rupen Chande (Project Advisor) Aga Khan Academy (Mombasa)

June 2017

The Aga Khan Foundation Canada and Global Affairs Canada supported a five-year project to strengthen teacher education and support systems to improve learning outcomes in literacy and numeracy at pre-primary and primary school levels in target areas of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda (Strengthening Education Systems in East Africa – SESEA).

Funding for SESEA and this research was provided by the Aga Khan Foundation Canada and Global Affairs Canada. The findings and conclusions presented in this report are those of the authors and do not represent the official positions or policies of the funders or of the researchers’ educational institutions.

This Executive Summary reviews findings from a study of primary school teacher and head teacher professional learning networks (PLNs) in coastal Kenya.  The PLNs were created by the Aga Khan Academy Mombasa Professional Development Center (PDC) to extend its outreach programs for practicing head teachers and teachers through the creation of four professional associations:

  • Mombasa Educational Leaders Association (MELA), established in 2010
  • Kwale Educational Leaders Group (KELG), established in 2012 in the rural county of Kwale
  • English Language Teacher Association (ELTA), established in 2010 in Mombasa
  • Mathematics Teacher Association (MTA), established in 2014 in Mombasa

The associations are organized in school clusters and meet monthly at the cluster and association levels as self-governing professional learning networks (PLNs). At the time of the study each PLN had about 50 active members linked to 71 primary schools (some with multiple PLN members). The PLNs and research are part of a 5 year project to strengthen teacher development and support systems in East Africa funded by Aga Khan Foundation Canada and Global Affairs Canada.

Full Technical Report