ERIC Number: ED245334
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Apr-26
Reference Count: 0
The Retreat of Equality: A Commentary on International Educational Policies since 1960.
Lynch, Patrick D.
During the 1960's, the nations of the world strove to provide access to schools, especially primary schools, to all children, on the assumption that education was a necessary and sufficient precondition for economic development. This faith gave way, in the 1970's and 1980's, to worldwide skepticism about the linkage between education and economic development, and a consequent retreat from the ideal of equality in educational policy. Accordingly, this paper reviews relationships and tensions among the three paramount goals of educational policy, since 1960, in socialist and capitalist countries alike: equality, integration, and decentralization. The original rationale of each of these goals is discussed, along with the detrimental consequences of the policies implemented to bring them about. The ideal of equality, associated with modernization and homogenization of culture, led paradoxically to increased inequality and disunity, owing to unfulfilled expectations of marginal cultures whose education prepared them to abandon their traditional economies and to become modern in a society that needed the skills of fewer people, and in economies growing far more slowly than in the 1960's when the optimistic plans were made. Thus equality of educational access has been abandoned in many countries as an unrealistic goal. New definitions of equality in education, less associated with cultural homogeneity and centrally imposed curricula, must be designed. (TE)
Descriptors: Access to Education, Cultural Context, Culture Lag, Decentralization, Economic Factors, Education Work Relationship, Educational Demand, Educational Economics, Educational Policy, Elementary Secondary Education, Equal Education, Foreign Countries, Politics of Education, Postsecondary Education, Social Integration, Sociocultural Patterns
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 23-27, 1984).