The main goal of this field is to improve the quality of educational systems.
One example of large scale comparative macroanalysis is the PISA study, in which Finland has ranked very highly each year.
In the form of superior journalism, this style of work remains a prominent feature of writing on foreign countries today. From the beginning of the nineteenth century, coincident with the rise of national systems of education in Europe, journeys abroad were made by travelers with a specialized interest in educational matters.
No longer motivated by general curiosity, they went the rounds of foreign countries to discover information useful for charting the course of education in their own countries.
The historical development of comparative education can be divided into three or five stages depending on the bases the division has been made.
The three stages are: descriptive stage, predictive stage and scientific stage.The first of these attempted to identify the forces and factors shaping national educational systems.The second, and the latest, may be termed the stage of social science explanation, which uses the empirical, quantitative methods of economics, political science, and sociology to clarify relationships between education and society.In the third stage, international educational cooperation was stressed in the interests of world harmony and mutual improvement among nations.Since the beginning of the twentieth century, two more stages have appeared, both concerned with seeking explanations for the wide variety of educational and social phenomena observed around the globe.This group of precursors of modern comparative education were predominantly educational politicians, experts, and activists.Often they traveled not at their own expense, or following their private interest, but as emissaries, sometimes self-appointed, of their national governments.They began to consider the possibility of using their conclusions to steer educational reform and so engineer the future shape of society.In this phase of comparative education, studies of foreign schooling became to a considerable extent studies of national character and the institutions that help form it.We compare to make up our minds and to choose between two or more choices.Comparing can take place also for more scientific reasons for example to find out the relationship existing between, or among the things being compared.