Abstract This review of eight papers published in Teaching and Teacher Education over the past twenty years shows how the profession has been impacted by the forces of globalisation. The impact varies in different contexts, according to local factors. The review looks at papers that use explicit international comparisons as a means to bring local contextual characteristics into sharp relief, and discusses the values and pitfalls of this approach. The review concludes by suggesting a possible future agenda for international comparisons, one that seeks answers to the domestic challenges of the Millennium Development Goals and Education for All by looking for solutions overseas. However, international appropriation needs to remain highly sensitive to the cultural context of implementation.