Covid-19: A Ray of Lightning for Comparative and International Education? Charl Wolhuter
Summary: This article is a position paper, arguing that the present, unforeseen outbreak of the Covid- 19 pandemic represents both a wake-up call to the scholarly field of Comparative and International Education to get out of its present stasis and an opportunity to prove its value to the world of praxis (that is praxis at the levels of education in education institutions and at the level of planning and reform of education at education system level). The concept of Comparative and International Education is clarified and the significance of the field explained. Its long winding history is portrayed, and the promise emanating from its definition, stated purposes and its historical development contrasted with the present stagnation in the field. Key facets of this stagnation are a fixation on paradigms, a neglect of attention to praxis and a reluctance to move beyond its historically pursued research agenda. The global education project is likewise beset by at least three serious problems: the discrepancy between ideal and reality, inertia, and Education as field of scholarship not providing guidance to education praxis. It is argued that the Covid-19 Pandemic has instantaneously highlighted these problems, and provide a window of opportunity for scholars of Comparative and International Education both to get its own house in order and to prove their mettle to education praxis in the world.