Globalization, 'Glocal' Development, and Teachers’ Work: A Research Agenda

September 2007

Source: Review of Educational Research, Vol. 77, No. 3,  279-309 (2007)

The author discusses the evolution of ideas about the relationship between national and international development and educational change since World War II. He critically reviews relevant literature in comparative and international education, focusing on the concept of teachers’ work. The analyses draw on theories of postcolonialism.


The author argues that virtually without exception, studies of, and theories about, teaching as work are based on the experiences of the northern hemisphere, particularly developed countries. He calls for qualitative methodologies and fieldwork to analyze teaching and teaching as work in modern South Africa and other subaltern countries.

The research agenda seeks to revise existing notions of teachers’ work emphasizing conditions in industrialized countries and to interrogate their utility given the profoundly different conditions in developing countries. It also seeks to make problematic conventional understandings of globalization and glocal development, arguing that these too should be revised given empirical data on teachers and teaching in poor countries.

Updated: Jan. 15, 2008