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ERIC Number: EJ779690
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Dec
Pages: 21
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 97
ISSN: ISSN-0013-1881
Solving the Equity-Equality Conceptual Dilemma: A New Model for Analysis of the Educational Process
Espinoza, Oscar
Educational Research, v49 n4 p343-363 Dec 2007
Background: Over the past four decades there have been a number of controversies arising from the discussion of "equity" and "equality". These concepts are often invoked by policy analysts, policy-makers, government officials and scholars in order to justify or critique resource allocation to different levels of the educational system. Purpose: By creating a new equality-equity goal-oriented model, which allows the combination of different dimensions for each concept with different stages of the educational process, this paper aims to achieve two purposes: (1) to clarify among researchers, educators, evaluators, policy analysts, and policy-makers the notions of "equality" and "equity"; and (2) to encourage researchers and evaluators to critically examine and synthesize equality/equity-based research. Sources of evidence: A review of the literature concerning the meaning, goals and assumptions of the concepts "equity" and "equality", and their implications for social and public policy, is presented. Main argument: A survey of recent and earlier debates on "equity" and "equality" among scholars and researchers reveals disagreement and confusion about what those concepts really mean and what they involve in terms of goals and results. It is debatable whether we can have "equity" and "equality" in a society that prioritizes efficiency in resource management over social justice. Certainly, such questions have shaped and guided many discussions and theoretical debates among scholars, policy analysts and policy-makers. Conclusions: Most of the definitions of "equity" and "equality" are frequently used by many researchers, evaluators, policy-makers, policy analysts, scholars and educators as if they were interchangeable. Instead of arguing for a unique or simple conception of "equity" and "equality", a set of definitions of those concepts as well as a discussion related to theoretical and policy issues associated are presented. In order to avoid that confusion, the equality-equity model developed in this paper suggests several new directions for analysis and research. It provides some ideas about how "equity" (i.e. "equity for equal needs", "equity for equal potential" and "equity for equal achievement") and "equality" (i.e. "equality of opportunity", "equality for all" and "equality on average across social groups") could be treated and measured in future research in relation to different features of the educational process (availability of resources, access, survival, output and outcome). (Contains 1 table.) [Preparation of this paper was also supported by Institute for International Studies in Education at the University of Pittsburgh.]
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Palo Alto, CA.; Pittsburgh Univ., PA. Center for Latin American Studies.; Pittsburgh Univ., PA. School of Education.
Authoring Institution: N/A