ERIC Number: ED224757
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Nov-27
Reference Count: 0
Equality of Opportunity: Perspectives and Possibilities.
A survey of the concept of equality in American thought and literature reveals varying attitudes about socioeconomic opportunities and the function of education. In 1848, de Tocqueville foresaw that industrialization would create a manufacturing aristocracy which would be a threat to the equality demonstrated in agrarian America. During the Jacksonian era, appeals to equality and a classless society were met with disinterest, mockery, and defiance. As both women and children began to suffer the inequities of industrialism, literary artists depicted human beings less than equal because of social and political practices, economic arrangements, and the human condition itself. In the post-Jacksonian era, Horace Mann proposed an educational system that would equalize the conditions of men. Education was to bring children from all backgrounds together for moral instruction; the schools were to be the primary force in social change. The Progressives remained confident in the power of education to cure the ills of society while blacks and women struggled to be heard. Current theorists acknowledge that schools cannot eradicate the effects of economic and social inequality. They can, however, guarantee the individual's right to a fair beginning. (Author/KC)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council for the Social Studies (Boston, MA, November 27, 1982).