Even though we are intensively trained at length in an organic system formed of an integrated and cohesive philosophy, psychology, and practice, capable of growing as a living whole, it cannot take life until we breathe into it the soul of our own transformation.

British educationalist Michael Sadler dedicated his professional career to the study and understanding of international educational policies. His fieldwork abroad allowed him to better understand the importance of recognizing differences within foreign systems. Sadler displayed this holistic point-of-view during his address at the Guildford Educational Conference on October 20, 1900. The address, entitled, ‘How Far Can We Learn Anything of Practical Value from the Study of Foreign Systems Abroad?’ shows that comparative education should not only look at policy, but should also encompass a nation’s history, culture, political background, etc. Sadler best highlights this point during the address when he said, “In studying foreign systems of education, we should not forget that the things outside the schools matter even more than the things inside the schools, and govern and interpret the things inside. We cannot wander at pleasure among the educational systems of the world, like a child strolling through a garden, and pick off a flower from one bush and some leaves from another, and then expect that if we stick what we have gathered into the soil at home, we shall have a living plant. A national system of education is a living thing…” Sadler’s eloquent manner of showing the importance of social and historical context within comparative education was heard by many and has had a lasting effect on the field of study.