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ERIC Number: EJ896304
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0160-7561
Equality and Schooling: Laggards, Percentiles and the U.S. Constitution
Welsh, Benjamin H.
Philosophical Studies in Education, v41 p29-37 2010
The contradiction between the concept of equality found in the Declaration of Independence and that found in U.S. Constitution led the author to question what the Constitution had to say about education. After all, Montesquieu (1689-1755), a French "philosophe" whose work heavily influenced Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and the U.S. Constitution, understood that education was a prerequisite for equality. Specifically, Montesquieu believed that the principle of equality had to be "inculcated through a general education by raising the whole people as a family." Thus, one would suppose that if the concept of equality was going to be addressed anywhere in the Constitution, it would be where education was also discussed. Surprisingly, the U.S. Constitution is found to make no mention of education. No article or section established education as a states' right either. This paper proposes that through the omission of universal education on one hand and the failure to clarify the meaning of equality on the other, the U.S. Constitution created a power vacuum with both institutional and conceptual dimensions. Thus, the educational leadership that emerged over the next two hundred years can be viewed as attempts to fill those dimensions of the power vacuum in various ways. (Contains 1 table and 21 footnotes.)
Ohio Valley Philosophy of Education Society. Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: United States Constitution