In This Article Expand or collapse the "in this article" section Education: Learning and Schooling Worldwide

  • Introduction
  • Reference Works
  • Video Sources
  • Journals
  • Forms of Schooling
  • Today’s Global Form of Schooling
  • Variations in Lived Experiences in Schools
  • Life in Classrooms
  • Students’ Lives
  • Families and Communities
  • Decisionmakers Beyond the School

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Forthcoming Articles Expand or collapse the "forthcoming articles" section

Childhood Studies Education: Learning and Schooling Worldwide
Kathryn M. Anderson-Levitt
  • LAST REVIEWED: 12 April 2019
  • LAST MODIFIED: 23 March 2012
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199791231-0024


Colloquially, “education” usually means “schooling,” and thus this bibliography focuses on schooling, although it will briefly consider education more broadly defined. It is limited to pre-primary, primary, and secondary education, excluding postsecondary even though some university students arguably fall on the border between childhood and adulthood. The interdisciplinary field of educational studies is largely an applied field and much of its literature is devoted to efforts to improve schooling; however, this bibliography identifies descriptive studies of actual practices and beliefs rather than prescriptions for reform. The main thrust of literature identified here is that schooling has recently become among the most important settings in which children live and develop, meaning that the current global form of schooling as well as variations in schooling “on the ground” have huge consequences for children’s lives and powerful meanings for all of us.

Reference Works

Dozens of encyclopedias and handbooks cover the broad range of education topics in English and in other languages (e.g., van Zanten 2008). Searching in a library catalogue or on the web using the key words “handbook,” “education,” and a broad research interest such as “sociology” or “philosophy” will probably call up more than one reference book containing overviews of the research literature. One comprehensive starting point is the International Encyclopedia of Education (Baker, et al. 2010). See also Apple, et al. 2010; Hallinan 2000; and Levinson and Pollack 2011. Meanwhile, several international organizations maintain online databases and reports that provide a statistical overview of schooling around the world. To track what percentage of the world’s children now attend school, see the EFA (Education for All) Global Monitoring Reports at United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization: Education; to answer such questions as how much time children in a given country spend in school or what percentage of them go on to secondary or tertiary education, consult statistics at sites or webpages such as Education at a Glance 2010: OECD Indicators. Data on the much publicized and influential international tests of student achievement can be found at the OECD site and at the TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center site.

  • Apple, Michael, Stephen J. Ball, and Luis Armando Gandin, eds. The Routledge International Handbook of the Sociology of Education. London: Routledge, 2010.

    NNNCollection of articles edited by leading critical sociologists of education, with representation from India, Brazil, France, and other countries outside the English-speaking world.

  • Baker, Eva, Barry McGaw, and Penelope L. Peterson, eds. International Encyclopedia of Education. 3d ed. New York: Elsevier, 2010.

    NNNThis eight-volume work replaces a very helpful second edition edited by Neville Postlethwaite in 1994.

  • Education at a Glance 2010: OECD Indicators.

    NNNExplore this section of the OECD site for answers to such questions as “What proportion of national wealth is spent on education?” or “How much time do students spend in the classroom?” for sixty-four nations and territories. Preschool and School provides 2009 results from the international PISA examinations (Programme for International Student Assessment).

  • Hallinan, Maureen T., ed. Handbook of the Sociology of Education. New York: Kluwer, 2000.

    NNNCollection of excellent articles, several from the world culture (neo-institutionalist) perspective.

  • Levinson, Bradley A. U., and Mica Pollack, eds. A Companion to the Anthropology of Education. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011.

    DOI: 10.1002/9781444396713

    NNNReviews of the literature on schooling, language, the state, and reform by leading anthropologists of education, many from the United States but with participation from Mexico and other countries.

  • TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center.

    NNNAnalyses of the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Studies (TIMSS), 1995 through 2011, which tests fourth and eighth graders in more than sixty countries, and the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS), which has assessed fourth graders in more than fifty countries since 2001. Along with the OECD’s PISA, these tests provoke soul-searching in nations worldwide.

  • United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization: Education.

    NNNSee EFA Global Monitoring Report for updates on progress toward Education for All. See also Key Statistical Tables for country-by-country information on education systems (such as compulsory school-starting age), on students, and on teachers. See Tables 21–26 for data back to the 1970s.

  • van Zanten, Agnès, ed. Dictionnaire de l’éducation. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 2008.

    NNNA one-volume French-language resource for research in the educational sciences.

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