Is there one global culture of schooling, or many national and local cultures? Do educational reforms take school systems on diverging or parallel paths? These case studies from five continents use ethnography and history to challenge the sweeping claims of sociology's world culture theory (neo-institutionalism). They demonstrate how national ministries of education and local schools re-invent every reform. Yet the cases also show that teachers and local reformers operate 'within and against' global models. Anthropologists need to recognize the global presence in local schooling as well as local transformation of global models. This is a collection that scholars in the field of the anthropology of education will not want to be without.