Short Biography & Significant Contribution
Joseph Katz had been a great contributor to comparative
education, but not just through scholarly works. He is most well known for his
development of international contacts and organizations for the promotion of
Comparative Education (Wilson, 1994).
Professor Katz received a Ph.D. from
the University of Chicago. After working briefly at the University of Manitoba,
he began a long career at the University of British Columbia (UBC), where he
initiated a comparative program in 1956 (Wilson, 1994).
Katz served as president of the
Comparative Education Society (CES) in 1961-1962 (Brickman, 1966) and was
instrumental in writing a constitution for the Comparative Education Society in
Europe (McDade,1982). A day before the 1967 CES conference in Chicago, C.Arnold
Anderson scheduled a half day at the University of Chicago for presentations on
Canada organized by a Canadian group. Afterwards there was a discussion on
whether to have a Canadian group organize as a chapter of the Comparative
Education Society or become an independent entity. Eventually the Canadian
group formed their own Comparative and International Education Society of
Canada (CIESC), with Katz as its first president.
Katz had argued in favor of adding
the word "international" in the CES name to reflect the
organization's global stance. In 1964, a heated debate occurred between Katz
and C.Arnold Anderson over the issue (Wilson, 1994). Eventually the name was
changed, with twenty-four CES members voting in favor of the name change and
fourteen opposed, thus becoming known as the Comparative and International
Education Society (Swing, 2007).
Katz is credited as being one of the
founders of World Council of Comparative Education Societies (WCCES) (Wilson,
1994). In 1968 he had convened an international Committee of Comparative
Educationalists in Ottawa Canada, a meeting that became the first World
Congress of Comparative Education Societies.. As Katz stated, "We meet in
short, to help people everywhere through education to substitute the civilized
minds of men for the uncivilized instincts of nature." (quoted in Masemann
& Epstein, 2007). In the preface to the Proceedings of the first World
Congress of Comparative Education Societies, he wrote that "The Congress
itself is evidence that people will work together to achieve not only common
but uncommon goals" (Masemenn & Epstein, 2007).
Katz envisioned the Council's
development as having three stages: the Congress (1961), the Conception (1965),
and the Council (1971-1974). The Congress stage was to bring all comparative
education groups together . The conception stage was to plan the formation of
the World Council. Finally, the commitment stage was to be the period in which
the Council grew in numbers (Masemann and Epstein, 2007).