ABSTRACTThe main purpose of this research is to discover if and how the first year of the masters programme in comparative and international education fulfils the ambitious approach stated in the programme’s description of learning outcomes. Has the MPhil programme Comparative and international education attained its goals in giving the students: “a broad understanding”, “training in solving complex issues within a wide range of theoretical frameworks”, and a “critical outlook”? In order to investigate these questions further I have posed three main research questions.
1. Have the students acquired an attitude of critical outlook and broad understanding of comparative and international education as a result of participating in the programme?2. Have the students’ been trained in solving complex issues within a wide range of theoretical frameworks during the programme? 3. How can this acquisition/lack of acquisition be explained by analyzing the educational curriculum applied in the course?
To make this assessment of the performance of the programme, the students’ experienced learning outcome has been mapped. The research has been based on in- dept interviews with 13 students and 3 staff members. The students have in addition answered a qualitative questionnaire which has measured their progress on different themes found on the syllabus. These findings have been analyzed through meaning condensation and coding.
It is possible to conclude that the CIE programme faces challenges in having students attain the abovementioned goals. These have been defined as: defining its aims, communicating these aims to the students, and in building an identity between the field of comparative and international education and the students. It is however important to point out that the programme has many untapped possibilities that can be developed further.