The World Council of Comparative Education Societies (WCCES) was formally established in 1970 during the first World Congress held in Ottawa, Canada as the World Council of Comparative Education, and a year later the name was changed to its present status.

The WCCES serves as an umbrella organization comprised of comparative education societies and UNESCO. Beginning with only five comparative education society members in 1970, the Council has grown to 36 constituent member societies in 2007 and 41 in 2016. Most members are national comparative education societies, but some are organized around global regions (e.g., Australian and New Zealand Comparative and International Education Society) and languages (e.g., Association Francophone d'éducation Comparée).

The Council has retained its original organizational structure and overall purpose since it was first organized in 1970. The WCCES leadership is comprised of five officers, namely the President, Secretary-General, Treasurer, and two Vice Presidents. Member societies have single representation within WCCES on the Executive Committee. UNESCO has also traditionally had representation on the Executive Committee. Additional leadership roles have been formed over the years, including the organization of standing committees around various themes related to specific Council-sponsored projects and activities (e.g.,publications, finances, and special projects). The Historian role was added in the 1990s and WCCES historical archive was established and originally housed by Kent State University until 2014, when the WCCES Archive was transferred to the University of Pittsburgh.

World Congresses are generally held once every three years, and rotate locations. Sixteen congresses have been held since the original meeting in Ottawa. In May 2019, the 17th World Congress will be held at Riviera Maya in Mexico.

11970Ottawa, CanadaEducation and the Formation of the Teaching Profession; Educational Aid to Developing Countries
21974Geneva, SwitzerlandEfficiencies and Inefficiencies in Secondary Schools
31977London, United KingdomUnity and Diversity in Education
41980Tokyo, JapanTradition and Innovation in Education
51984Paris, FranceDependence and Interdependence in Education: The Role of Comparative Education
61987Rio de Janeiro, BrazilEducation, Crisis and Change
71989Montreal, CanadaDevelopment, Communication and Language
81992Prague, CzechoslovakiaEducation and Democracy
91996Sydney, AustraliaTradition, Modernity and Postmodernity
101998Cape Town, South AfricaEducation, Equity and Transformation
112001Chungbuk, Republic of KoreaNew Challenges, New Paradigms: Moving Education into the 21st Century
122004Havana, CubaEducation and Social Justice
132007Sarajevo, Bosnia and HerzegovinaLiving Together: Education and Intercultural Dialogue
142010Istanbul, TurkeyBordering, Re-Bordering and New Possibilities in Education and Society
152013Buenos Aires, ArgentinaNew Times, New Voices
162016Beijing, ChinaDialectics of Education: Comparative Perspectives.
172017Cancún, MéxicoThe Future of Education

WCCES Past Presidents and President

Joseph Katz1970-1974
Brian Holmes1974-1977
Masunori Hiratsuka1977-1980
Erwin H. Epstein1980-1983
Michel Debeauvais1983-1987
Vandera Masemann1987-1991
Wolfgang Mitter1991-1996
David N. Wilson1996-2001
Anne Hickling- Hudson2001-2004
Mark Bray2004-2007
Crain Soudien2007-2010
Wing On Lee2010-2013
Carlos Alberto Torres2013-2016
N´Dri T. Assie-Lumumba2016-2019

Roberto ArnoveRobert Arnove

Chancellor's Professor Emeritus of Leadership & Policy Studies at Indiana University,Bloomington

Conference: "The Ethical and Empirical Dimensions of Comparative Education"

Biosketch: Robert F. Arnove, Chancellor's Professor of Emeritus at Indiana University,Bloomington is a an Honorary Fellow and past president of the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES). He has been a CIES delegate to the World Council of Comparative Education Societies (WCCES) and has served as chair of its special projects committee. Winner of many distinguished teaching awards, he has been a visiting scholar at universities in countries ranging from Argentina to Australia. Over the past two decades, his co-edited textbook with Carlos Torres -- Comparative Education: The Dialectic of the Global and the Local (2013, 4th edition)-- has been a leading English language introduction to the field. (The text has been translated into Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, and Portuguese.) His research has focused on sociopolitical and educational change, as well as on literacy campaigns and popular education, philanthropy and cultural imperialism, and world-systems analysis. Arnove's latest single authored text is Talent Abounds: Profiles of Master Teachers and Peak Performers. He has been a teachers union president, a candidate for the U.S. Congress, and the president of an experimental theater company. Having worked in Latin America, since 1962, he is very pleased to be able to return to Mexico to participate in the XVII World Congress of Comparative Education Societies in Cancun.

Semblanza: Robert F. Arnove, profesor Emérito de la Universidad de Indiana en Bloomington. Miembro honorario y ex presidente de la Comparative and International Education Society (CIES). Ha sido delegado de CIES en el World Council of Comparative Education Societies (WCCES) y se ha desempeñado como presidente del comité de proyectos especiales. Ganador de distintos reconocimientos como profesor; ha sido profesor visitante en universidades de países que van desde Argentina hasta Australia. En las últimas dos décadas, su libro coeditado con Carlos Alberto Torres - Comparative Education: The Dialectic of the Global and the Local (2013, 4ª edición) - se ha destacado como texto introductorio al campo de la educación comparada, en inglés, aunque ya ha sido traducido al chino, japonés, español y portugués. Sus líneas de investigación se han centrado en el cambio sociopolítico y educativo, así como en las campañas de alfabetización y educación popular; filantropía e imperialismo cultural y análisis de los sistemas- mundo. Su texto más reciente es Talent Abounds: Profiles of Master Teachers and Peak Performers. Ha sido presidente de un sindicato de docentes, candidato para el Congreso de los EE. UU. y presidente de una compañía de teatro experimental. Habiendo trabajado en América Latina desde 1962, está muy contento de poder regresar a México para participar en el XVII Congreso Mundial de Sociedades de Educación Comparada en Cancún.

Mmantsetsa MaropeMmantsetsa Marope

Director of UNESCO’s International Bureau of Education (IBE) since July 2014. She holds a Ph.D. in Education from the University of Chicago, a Master’s degree in Education from Pennsylvania State University, and a BA and a CCE from the University of Botswana and Swaziland. Within UNESCO, she has held several director positions including the Director of the Division for Basic to Higher Education and Learning. Prior to UNESCO, her work experience includes the World Bank, university teaching, academic networks, and consultancy services for governments, bilateral and multilateral agencies. She is on advisory boards of diverse academic, public, private sector institutions and development agencies. Her publications cover a wide range of areas in education. Dr. Marope holds many prestigious awards including: The World Bank Excellence Award for the Africa Region, Alumni Achievement Award from Pennsylvania State University, and Macmillan’s Best Setswana Novelist Award. She is an unwavering advocate and global thought leader on the transformation of education and learning systems towards innovative and constant self-renewal, quality, impactful effectiveness, current and future development-relevance, equity, inclusion, justice, and fulfilment for all. As the Director of IBE, her resolve is to propel and sustain the Bureau’s critical acclaim as the Global Center of Excellence in Curriculum and related matters

Conference: “Shaping the Future of Education or Shaping the Future Through Education”

The future of education has never been more debated than it is in the 21st century. Across virtually all noteworthy forums, debates echo escalating unease about the readiness of education and learning systems to prepare learners (both young and old) for the future. Most significantly, for a future whose detailed directions, challenges, and opportunities we cannot quite predict. At the core of this unease is the reality that change has become the only constant in the 21st century. It is a century of relentless, unpredictable, often disruptive waves of human-made and nature-driven change, touching all spheres of live. It has ushered issues pertaining to globalization, globalization 4.0, violent extremism, security, cybersecurity, food security, migration, immigration, displacement, climate change, unimaginable innovations, extraordinary human advancements and more. It is a century of “revolutions”: the information revolution, knowledge revolution, technology revolution, and now the fourth industrial revolution (I4.0); an unimaginable accelerant to what was already an overwhelming pace of change. Combined, these factors challenge the readiness of education and learning systems to prepare learners for a complex and unknown future. They raise pertinent questions about how we can make education and learning systems future-ready. They question the competences that learners must develop, if they are to lead productive and fulfilling lives in contexts of constant change. They ask if globalization 4.0 warrants global competences that everyone must have. These questions are at the heart of curriculum, and of comparative studies of curricula contexts. Though a pertinent debate, it bears a clear risk of pushing education and learning systems into a reactive future. This begs the question how proactive should education and learning systems be? Therein lies a new debate: Shaping the future of education and/or shaping the future through education: What can comparative education offer?

Norberto Fernández LamarraNorberto Fernández Lamarra

UNESCO Chair “Education and Future in Latin America”
Director of Posgraduate Department at Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero, Argentina