Towards 'thick description' of educational transfer: Understanding a Japanese institution's 'import' of European language policy

Jeremy Rappleye, Yuki Imoto, Sachiko Horiguchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)


Globalisation and convergence in educational policy worldwide has reinvigorated, while rendering more complex, the classic theme of educational transfer. Framed by this wider pursuit of new understandings of a changing transfer/context puzzle, this paper explores how an ethnographic 'thick description' might complement and extend recent research. Specifically, it relates findings from extended ethnographic work on an attempt by a prominent Japanese university to 'import' the Council of Europe's Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). This rare case of explicit 'borrowing' from a supranational space directly to the domestic institutional level, when approached in such a way, suggests new insights to help the field refine understandings of the processes, 'shape-shifting', and 'success' of international policy migration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)411-432
Number of pages22
JournalComparative Education
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Nov


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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