Prof. David Phillips

David Phillips is Professor Emeritus of Comparative Education and an Emeritus Fellow of St Edmund Hall, University of Oxford. His main responsibility for many years was running the Oxford MSc course in Comparative and International Education.

The principal focus of David Phillips’s research has been on all aspects of educational provision in Germany and on the processes of policy transfer in education. These two themes come together  a recent book, The German Example: English Interest in Educational Provision in Germany Since 1800 (Continuum, 2011). Based on a huge variety or sources, including much archival material, this account traces the way in which policy makers in England over the past two hundred years or so have used the example of what was happening in Germany to inform the policy debate about educational reform ‘at home’ – to support such reform, or to argue against it, depending on the historical moment.

David Phillips’s work on the nature of comparative inquiry in education is reflected in the book co-authored with Michele Schweisfurth: Comparative and International Education. An Introduction to Theory, Method, and Practice (Continuum). This book is now widely used in courses on comparative education around the world.

His most recent book is Educating the Germans: People and Policy in the British Zone of Germany, 1945-1949 (Bloomsbury, 2018),  a study which develops his work over some four decades on education during the occupation period.


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