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ERIC Number: EJ1105005
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Jul
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0038-0407
Meyer Comment on Downey and Condron
Meyer, John W.
Sociology of Education, v89 n3 p227-228 Jul 2016
In the half century since the 1966 Coleman Report, scholars have yet to develop a consensus regarding the relationship between schools and inequality. The Coleman Report suggested that schools play little role in generating achievement gaps, but social scientists have identified many ways in which schools provide better learning environments to advantaged children compared to disadvantaged children. As a result, a critical perspective that views schools as engines of inequality dominates contemporary sociology of education. However, an important body of empirical research challenges this critical view. In this article, John W. Meyer, professor of sociology, emeritus, at Stanford, contributes to the discussion. Here Meyer comments that sociologists of education are generally believers in the institution and its potential and thus compare it not to past and present alternatives but to meritocratic and equalitarian ideals. Meyer suggests that while that comparison supports reform, it hinders analysis, narrowing unreasonably the issues under consideration. Meyer applauds the real progress made by Downey and Condron (DC) in comparing schooling with alternative strategies and suggests much further broadening of the relevant comparisons. [For "Fifty Years since the Coleman Report: Rethinking the Relationship between Schools and Inequality," see EJ1104970.]
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A