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Big Stories, Small Stories: Beyond Disputatious Theory Towards ‘Multilogue’

  • Sonia Mehta
Part of the Springer International Handbooks of Education book series (SIHE, volume 22)

As an ‘international’ student of comparative education, I entered the fi eld of comparative international education, bringing with me a very different academic tradition and cultural history. I saw the fi eld as a durbar (or ‘King’s court’, in Hindi) of theories, presided over by an organizational structure that positioned it within a certain range of disciplinary academic frameworks. This disciplinary lexicon was further disciplined by professorial choice of syllabi. This was a powerful court, and its arguments were familiar, if distant. I made haste to learn its language. I paid attention to the glittering promises of the largest stories: the upliftment of all humankind, and the promise of progress. I wore these as mantels in my own grand design of scholarship. Inevitably, I was disenchanted: there appeared no way to articulate the different and separate (and to me, precious) sets of stories I carried around with me like a secret. There was a reason I had come into the fi eld with my own small stories, thinking they meant something in a larger canvas, and I was not alone: other students came with other small stories. I found my stories becoming more obscure, as language failed them and socio-educational practice left them on a distant margin. There was no advocacy for them in the durbar of comparative education studies, more out of neglect and insularity rather than specifi c malignancy.

Keywords

Knowledge Culture Educational Change International Education Critical Discourse Analysis Comparative Education 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

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  • Sonia Mehta

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