Erwin H. Epstein (1939 - )

Epstein, Erwin H

Short Biography & Significant Contribution

Erwin H. Epstein is Professor of Cultural and Educational Policy Studies and Director of the Center for Comparative Education at Loyola University Chicago. Prior to his tenure at Loyola, he was Director of the University Center for International Studies and Professor of Humanistic Foundations of Education and of Rural Sociology at The Ohio State University. He has been the head of academic units at four universities. He has been a visiting scholar at the University of Chicago, the National Taiwan Pedagogical University, Universidad LaSalle (Mexico), State University of Novosibirsk (Russia), Humboldt University (Germany), and the University of Oxford (UK). He has worked in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico as a Fulbright Professor or Academic Specialist for the United States Information Agency, and has been a consultant to, among other organizations, the World Bank, the National Endowment of the Humanities, the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Academy for Educational Development, and the Chilean Minister of Education. He has served as an external evaluator for 23 universities and is a member of the Honorary Academic Council of the Graduate Program in Educational Policy and Administration at the Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero (Argentina).

Epstein has devoted his professional life to advancing the field of comparative education. He has been a member of the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) since 1962, the same year he became a graduate student in the Comparative Education Center at the University of Chicago. He has served the CIES in many capacities. He is currently the Society's historian, was its president in 1982-83, and served for 10 years, from 1988 to 1998, as the editor of the Society's journal, the Comparative Education Review. As editor, he issued more editions of that journal than any other editor in the Society's history. In addition to the Review, he has served as a manuscript reviewer for 18 journals and has been a guest editor for Education and Urban Society and the International Journal of Educational Reform. Among the journals on which he served as editorial board member are the American Journal of Education, Educational Studies, andWorld Studies in Education, and he is currently on the editorial board ofEducation Policy Analysis Archives(Spanish/Portuguese languages edition). He also was president of the World Council of Comparative Education Societies from 1980 to 1983, and was on its executive board as a co-opted member or chair of the constitutional committee from 1990 to 2002.

Epstein was honored in 1985 as the recipient of the Lourdes Casal Award for the most outstanding work in the social sciences on Cuba. In 2005, he was designated International Professor of the Year by the Loyola University Chicago chapter of Phi Beta Delta honorary society. He has given the keynote address at meetings of the Comparative Education Society in Europe and of the Argentina Comparative Education Society as well as at Midwestern and Western regional meetings of the Comparative and International Society, and he has addressed the Academy of Higher Education, a body of leading university presidents, in Argentina.

Epstein's research interests include such varied topics as the impact of parasitic diseases on academic achievement, schoolchildren's sense of nationality in socio-culturally marginal communities, the role of education in globalization and democratization, and theory shifts and boundaries in comparative education. He originated the "filter-effect theory of education" to explain the impact of schools on schoolchildren's national identity in marginalized areas. Although primarily a Latin Americanist and epistemologist, he has also published works on higher education in mainland China and Taiwan. He currently directs the Comparative and International Education Course Archive Project (CIECAP) and is co-director of the Joint Centers for Comparative Law and Education, which focuses on the legal right of children to an education, at Loyola University Chicago. He regularly teaches the introductory course to comparative education, comparative theory, and comparative perspectives on education and democratization.

Loyola Center for Comparative Education

Educational Background

B.A. (Honors and Distinction in Philosophy), University of Illinois-Urbana, 1960

M.A.T. in Social Sciences, University of Chicago, 1962

Ph.D. in Comparative Education, University of Chicago, 1966

Professional Background

Assistant Professor of Educational Policy Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1965-71

Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Nebraska-Kearney, 1965-71 Professor of Sociology, Missouri University of Science & Technology, 1973-91

Visiting Professor of Educational Sciences and of Sociology of Education, Universidad de Monterrey (Mexico), 1979-80 and 1982-83 (Fulbright)

Visiting Professor in the Sociology of Education, Universidad Pedagógica Nacional de Bogotá (Colombia), summer 1984

Visiting Professor of Comparative Sociology, Universidade Federal do Pará (Brazil), summer 1987

Visiting Professor of Comparative Education, University of Western Cape (South Africa), summer 1990

Professor of Educational Policy & Leadership, and of Rural Sociology, The Ohio State University, 1991-98

Professor of Cultural & Educational Policy Studies, Loyola University of Chicago, 1998-

Visiting Professor of Comparative Education, Universidad San Pedro (Peru), summer 2003

Affiliations (associations, organizations, institutions)

American Educational Research Association (Board of Directors, International Studies SIG, 1989-1992)

Comparative and International Education Society (Vice President, 1979-80; President Elect, 1980-81; President, 1981-82; Past President, 1982-83; Historian, 2008-; Executive Committee, 1988-98, 2008-)

Latin American Studies Association

Phi Beta Delta international studies honorary

World Council of Comparative Education Societies (President, 1980-83; Executive Committee, 1990-2002)

Selected Publications

<p">E. H. Epstein (1965), "Cross-cultural Sampling and a Conceptualization of 'Professional' Instruction," Journal of Experimental Education, Vol. 33, No. 4 (Summer).</p">


E. H. Epstein (1967), "National Identity and the Language Issue in Puerto Rico," Comparative Education Review, Vol. XI, No. 2 (June).

E. H. Epstein et al. (1973), Disease and Economic Development (University of Wisconsin Press).

E. H. Epstein (1978), "Ideological Factors in Soviet Educational Policy Toward Jews," Education and Urban Society, Vol. 10, No. 2 (February).

E. H. Epstein (1978), "The Social Control Thesis and Educational Reform in Dependent Nations," Theory and Society, Vol. 5, No. 2 (March).

E. H. Epstein (1982), "Peasant Consciousness under Peruvian Military Rule," Harvard Educational Review, Vol. 52 (August).

E. H. Epstein (1985), "Education and National Consciousness in Mexico," in C. Brock & H. Lawlor, eds., Latin America: Tradition and Change in Education (Croom Helm).

E. H. Epstein (1987), "Against the Currents: A Critique of Critiques of 'Ideology in Comparative Education'," Compare, Vol. 17, No. 1 (March).

E. H. Epstein (1987), "The Peril of Paternalism: The Imposition of Education on Cuba by the United States," American Journal of Education, Vol. 96, No. 1 (November).

E. H. Epstein & W-F Kuo (1991), "Higher Education," in D.C. Smith, ed., The Confucian Continuum: Educational Modernization in Taiwan (Praeger).

E. H. Epstein (1992), "Social Paradoxes of American Education," Oxford Review of Education, Vol. 18, No. 3.

E. H. Epstein & N. F. McGinn (2000), eds., Comparative Perspectives on the Role of Education in Democratization: Socialization, Identity, and the Politics of Control (Peter Lang).

E. H. Epstein (2006), "Echoes from the Periphery: Challenges to Building a Culture of Peace through Education in Marginalized Communities," in Y. Iram, ed., Educating Towards a Culture of Peace (Information Age).

E. H. Epstein (2007), "At the Turn of the Turbulent 80s: The World Council after the First Decade," in V. Masemann, M. Bray, & M. Manson, eds., Common Interests, Uncommon Goals: Histories of the World Council of Comparative Education Societies and Its Members (Springer).

E. H. Epstein (in press), "Setting the Normative Boundaries: Crucial Epistemological Benchmarks in Comparative Education," Comparative Education.



Created: 6/3/2008

Updated: 6/22/2008

Contributed By: Erwin H. Epstein, Loyola University Chicago