ERIC Number: ED162949
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1976-Sep
Reference Count: 0
Equal Educational Opportunity in Western Europe: A Contradictory Relation.
Levin, Henry M.
Based on four standards of measurement, it appears that the educational systems of Western Europe fail to provide a significant equalizing influence. The four criteria are: (1) equality of educational access, (2) equality of educational participation, (3) equality of educational results, (4) and equality of educational effects on life chances. Although the distribution of education shows a universal trend toward increasing equality of educational attainments, data indicate that persons from lower social class backgrounds are likely to follow less prestigious and remunerative courses of study. Moreover, they lack the social or political connections to obtain better jobs. This pattern is a result of the perceived role of schooling, which is to prepare students for filling the needs of capitalistic wage-labor. There is a basic contradiction between this function and that of increasing social mobility. Moreover, the post World War II reduction in economic growth has created an educated, underemployed proletariat. The increasing disjuncture between the values and expectations of the educated worker and the realities of work is creating a new working class of revolutionary youth. Educational reforms must include increasing the selectivity of universities, absorbing enrollment increases through alternative higher education, developing an alternative educational pattern, and emphasizing career education. Work reforms call for changing the organization of work, increasing the prestige of blue collar work, and providing more jobs in the public sector. (KC)
Descriptors: Access to Education, Comparative Education, Developed Nations, Economic Opportunities, Educational Opportunities, Educational Trends, Elementary Secondary Education, Employment Opportunities, Employment Patterns, Employment Problems, Equal Education, Higher Education, Labor Market, Social Influences, Social Mobility, Underemployment, Unemployment, Working Class
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Europe (West)
Note: Paper presented at Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association (Chicago, Illinois, September 4, 1976)