Fall 2023
EDU A801
September 5 - December 5
Friday, 9:00 AM - 11:45 AM
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Education Policy Analysis and Research in Comparative Perspective


How can policy analysts, leaders, consultants, and social entrepreneurs help improve educational opportunity around the world? How can policy analysis help poor and marginalized children get a decent education, that matters to their future life prospects and to the development of the societies in which they live? How can education support the development of inclusive and sustainable societies? This course examines key contemporary educational global challenges and debates, focusing on options to effect systemic change in public education systems. We will discuss current global efforts to increase the quality and relevancy of education in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. We will examine the role of international agencies and governments in advancing policy reform, and study various approaches to shaping policy reform. The course may be of interest to students interested in education policy and leadership roles in system level reform in global contexts and in learning to draw lessons from international and comparative education.
Permission of instructor required. Enrollment procedure will be posted on the course website.
School:Graduate School of Education Department:Education Subject:Education Units:4 Course Component:Regular Course Grading Basis:HGSE Student Option (Letter Graded, Sat/Unsat) Cross Reg:Available for Harvard Cross Registration Instruction Mode:In Person
Learning Goals: This course is designed to help students develop policy analysis skills and acquire knowledge about the implications of comparative and international education research for policy analysis. Specifically the course will: 1. Familiarize course participants with the field of comparative and international education and with contemporary global education challenges and policy alternatives to improve education internationally. 2. Develop an understanding of the process of policy formation, and of methodologies to assess education needs and to formulate policy priorities. 3. Develop course participants’ skills to draw policy implications from comparative educational research on school purposes and curriculum, teacher quality, school leadership and system reform. Students will examine impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on educational opportunity in specific context, and conduct a policy analysis for a real world client. Students will be invited to present final projects at a Global Education Conference, where their work will be discussed by leaders of thought and practice in the field of international education. Teams that write excellent papers will be invited to continue to work on those, after the course completion, towards publication of a book.
Career Focus: This course will support the development of policy analysis skills on contemporary education challenges. It will be of use to those who plan to pursue careers in government, international development organizations, education foundations and other organizations supporting system level transformation.

Graduate School of Education
Course Level
Interest Area
Cross Registration