SemesterFall Semester, 2019
DepartmentMA Program of Sociology, First Year MA Program of Sociology, Second Year
Course NameComparative Education in a Global Society
Course TypeElective
Course Objective
Course Description
Course Schedule

Course Schedule


Week 1. Sep 13    No class (National Holiday)

Happy Mid-autumn festival, see you next week.


Week 2. Sep 20     Course Introduction


Week 3. Sep 27    Educational Systems: Its role in society

Rarmirez et al. 2018. “International Tests, National Assessments, and Educational Development (1970–2012).” Comparative Education Review 62 (3): 344-364.

Turner, Ralph H. (1960). “Sponsored and contest mobility and the school system.” American Sociological Review 25 (6): 855-867.


Week 4. Oct 04     What Happens in Schools? (1) Teacher interactions

**Group Presentations: (1) the U.S. and (2) country of your choice**

Calarco, Jessica M. 2011. “’I Need Help!’ Social Class and Children’s Help-Seeking in Elementary School.” American Sociological Review, 76(6), 862–882.

Ho, Phoebe, and Hua-Yu Sebastian Cherng. 2018. "How far can the apple fall? Differences in teacher perceptions of minority and immigrant parents and their impact on academic outcomes." Social Science Research 74: 132-145.


Week 5. Oct 11     No class (National Holiday)

Happy National Day to y’all!                                   


Week 6. Oct 18     What Happens in Schools? (2) Student (sub)culture

Guest speaker: Dr. Chi-Chung Wang                            

                          Adjunct Assistant Professor at National Tsinghua University

Hollingworth, Sumi. 2015. “Performances of social class, race and gender through youth subculture: putting structure back in to youth subcultural studies.” Journal of Youth Studies 18(10): 1237-1256.

Wang, Chi-Chung. 2019. "Schooling youth (sub) cultures in East Asian education: the case of high school rock in Taiwan." Journal of Youth Studies (2019): 1-19.


Week 7. Oct 25     In Search of an “Exemplary Model”

We will watch a documentary: “Two Million Minutes”

Class discussion to follow.


Week 8. Nov 01    Student Cultures: France and the Netherlands

**Group Presentations: (3) France and (4) the Netherlands**   

Draelants, Hugues and Brigitte Darchy?Koechlin. 2011. "Flaunting one's academic pedigree? Self?presentation of students from elite French schools." British Journal of Sociology of Education 32 (1): 17-34.   

Mijs, Jonathan J. B. and Bowen Paulle. 2015. "The Burden of Acting Wise: Sanctioned School Success and Ambivalence about Hard Work at an Elite School in the Netherlands." Intercultural Education 27 (1): 22-38.


Week 9. Nov 08    Student Cultures: the US and Ireland

** Group Presentations: (5) Ireland and (6) country of your choice**

Courtois, Aline. 2015. "‘Thousands waiting at our gates’: moral character, legitimacy and social justice in Irish elite schools." British Journal of Sociology of Education 36 (1): 53-70.

Khan, Shamus. 2011. Privilege: The making of an adolescent elite at St. Paul's School. Princeton University Press. (chapter 1)


Week 10. Nov 15  Family Input in Education: (1) Coping with the Risk of Failure

** Group Presentations: (7) China and (8) country of your choice **

Chin, Tiffany. 2000. “Sixth Grade Madness” Parental Emotion Work in the Private High School Application Process.” Journal of Contemporary Ethnography 29 (2): 124-163.

Chiang, Yi-Lin. 2018. “When Things Don’t Go as Planned: Contingencies, Cultural Capital, and Parental Involvement for Elite University Admission in China.” Comparative Education Review 62 (4): 503-521.


Week 11. Nov 22    Family Input in Education: (2) Education Outside of School

**Group Presentations: (9) South Korea and (10) Taiwan **

Park, Hyunjoon. 2008. "The varied educational effects of parent-child communication: A comparative study of fourteen countries." Comparative Education Review 52 (2): 219-243.

Shih, Yi-Ping and Chin-Chun Yi. 2014. Cultivating the difference: Social class, parental values, cultural capital and children's after-school activities in Taiwan. Journal of Comparative Family Studies 45 (1) 55-75.


Week 12. Nov 29    Transition to Work: Does higher education pay off?

**Group Presentations: (11) country of your choice and (12) country of your choice**

Lee, Sunhwa and Mary Brinton. 1996. “Elite education and social capital: The case of South Korea.” Sociology of Education 69 (3): 177-192.

Rivera, Laruen. 2011. "Ivies, extracurriculars, and exclusion: Elite employers’ use of educational credentials." Research in Social Stratification and Mobility 29 (1): 71-90.


Week 13. Dec 6     Education Hierarchy: Is one educational system better than another?

**Group Presentations: (13) country of your choice and (14) country of your choice**

Lee, Yean-Ju, and Hagen Koo. 2006. "'Wild geese fathers' and a globalised family strategy for education in Korea." International Development Planning Review 28 (4): 533-553.

Woronov, Terry. 2007. “Chinese children, American education: Globalizing child-rearing in contemporary China.” In Generations and Globalization: Youth, Age, and family in the New World Economy. Eds, Cole, Jennifer and Deborah Durham, Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press.


Week 14. Dec 13   Concluding Remarks: Global education and student belonging

**Group Presentations: (15) the U.K. and (16) country of your choice**

Brooks, Rachel, and Johanna Waters. 2009. "A second chance at ‘success’: UK students and global circuits of higher education." Sociology 43 (6): 1085-1102.

Vandrick, Stephanie. 2011. "Students of the New Global Elite." Tesol Quarterly 45 (1): 160-169.


Week 15. Dec 20    In-class workshop: presentations

Class presentation will take the format of a mini conference. Each student/group will have 10-15min to present their final project, followed by 3min of Q&A. (The exact time for each presentation depends on the number of presenters.)

This is an opportunity to receive comments from knowledgeable readers, make revisions on your final paper, and practice defending your research or idea.


Attendance and participation in the workshop is a sign of support to your fellow classmates, and it is also good karma when it is your turn to present. You are required to join class and provide feedback even if you are not presenting.


Week 16. Dec 27    Individual meeting

This is your last chance to discuss your paper and revisions with the instructor. The class will be devoted to independent, one-on-one meetings with students. Please schedule office hours beforehand if needed.


Week 17. Jan 3       Turn in final paper

**Please upload your paper on Moodle by 5pm on Jan 3. Each additional day of delay will result in further downgrade of your final score.**


Teaching Methods
Teaching Assistant

1. Class participation (15%)

Since this class takes the format of a seminar, classroom participation is necessary. You are strongly encouraged to participate in classroom discussions by raising questions, responding to others, and providing your thoughts about the course materials. Through classroom discussions, you will not only get to know your classmates, but also enhance each other's understanding of the materials under discussion. Together, we will create a friendly atmosphere in which all feel welcomed.


2. Discussion leader (15%)

Beginning in week 2, students should self-divide into teams and lead course discussion at least once in the semester. Discussion leaders should prepare a list of 3-5 questions and post them on Moodle no later than 5PM on the Tuesday before class meeting.


3. In-class presentation (introduction of student life in each country) (20%)

Considering the scope of content in this course, it is necessary to have a broad understanding of the student life in each of the country we will discuss. While I have listed some countries in the syllabus (see below), some are open to your choice. I especially encourage students from countries not listed to sign up and present on their own educational system. Each group should have no more than 2 members, making up to 16 groups. In-class presentations will begin on week 4, please sign up by week 3 on Moodle. Each presentation will be 15-20 minutes, please mind the time. Members in each group should feel free to improvise with this assignment, as there are no requirements on the method or tools to assist or present your findings.


4. Final group paper + final presentation (40+10%)

Student write a final paper with their group member. Each group should consist of TWO students. The paper should be about educational in global society, in alignment with the course topic. Students should pursue a specific topic of his/her interest. The paper must ask a question and provide evidence from existing research. Topics on educational inequality is preferred, but not necessary. Details of the paper and its format will be distributed in class in the second half of the semester. You should feel free to discuss your project/paper with the instructor during the semester.

If the group consists entirely of undergraduates, the paper is expected to be an extended literature review. If the group has at least one graduate student, the paper should be in article format, which includes data analysis. There will be two “checkpoints” as you set out to conduct the literature review. The first one is the presentation week, when you will present your draft in class. The second and final checkpoint is the following week, when you can schedule a meeting with the instructor to discuss details and revisions of your presented draft.

Textbook & Reference
Urls about Course