Aaron Benavot (Ph.D., Stanford University) is Professor in the School of Education at the University at Albany-SUNY with interests in global education policy and comparative education research. He also serves as Secretary of the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES). Before taking up his position at UAlbany, he served four years as Senior Policy Analyst on the Education for All Global Monitoring Report team at UNESCO headquarters in Paris. He contributed to the development and drafting of four global monitoring reports: Literacy for Life (2006), Strong Foundations: Early Childhood Care and Education (2007), Education for All by 2015: Will We Make It? (2008) and Overcoming Inequality: Why Governance Matters (2009) (www.efareport.unesco.org). During this period he also participated in different activities undertaken by UNESCO’s Education Sector, particularly in the areas of literacy, education for sustainable development, quality learning enhancement and lifelong learning.
Benavot’s comparative research has explored major aspects of the evolution of basic education—for example, the historical expansion of primary education; the prolongation of compulsory schooling; the organization of official school curricula; the curricular diversification of secondary education; school variation in curricular implementation; the development of vocational education; the growth and power of international and national assessments; international education policy scenarios in the post-2015 period; and the dynamics and conceptualization of adult literacy and non-formal education. He has also focused on the mechanisms that link education to economic development and to political democratization. Recently he headed a team that studied commonalities and differences in the contents of primary level mathematics and reading textbooks and curricula.
He has co-authored or edited five books including School Knowledge for the Masses (with J. Meyer and D. Kamens), Law and the Shaping of Public Education (with D. Tyack and T. James), Global Educational Expansion: Historical legacies and political obstacles (with J. Resnik and J. Corrales); School Knowledge in Comparative and Historical Perspective (with C. Braslavsky) and PISA, Power, and Policy: The emergence of global educational governance (with H-D Meyer).
Benavot previously taught in the sociology departments at the University of Georgia (1985-1990) and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (1990-2007) and has served as a visiting professor at universities in Argentina, Japan, Germany, Italy, Malta and France. Benavot has been involved in European Union-sponsored socio-economic research as a consortium partner, lead partner and evaluator. He received a post-doctoral National Academy of Education fellowship from the Spencer Foundation (USA) and a national Alon Fellowship (Israel). In 2007 he was elected to the CIES Board of Directors and until recently served as coeditor of the journal, Comparative Education Review. He currently serves on the advisory boards of the Mediterranean Journal of Educational Studies, Revista de Educación, The European Journal of Social Sciences-Innovation and Revista Latinoamericana de Educación Comparada.