ERIC Number: EJ1125847
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Nov
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 25
Why Should We Demand Equality of Educational Opportunity?
Theory and Research in Education, v14 n3 p333-347 Nov 2016
This paper reveals how equal educational opportunities, equal job opportunities and equality of opportunity for welfare are related to each other, and how they are related to other demands for justice. There are several important objections to the emphasis on equal educational opportunities. Nevertheless, this paper shows that demanding equal educational opportunities is unavoidable when advocating greater educational justice. Neither demands for equal educational resources nor demands for equal educational outcomes can adequately replace the demand for equal educational opportunities. For this reason, equality of opportunity in education remains an important ideal, even though it has the potential to cause damage and should therefore be taken with great caution. First, the demand for equal educational opportunities can lead to prematurely attributing unequal educational outcomes, which could have been avoided, to unequal talent and effort. Second, this demand creates the tendency to justify social inequalities by saying that, after all, measures were taken to realize equal educational opportunities. Third, it can lead to limiting all efforts in the educational system to merely realize equal educational opportunities. This demand, however, is incomplete, since those who have difficulties in learning should receive more attention and more resources for their education than others. A stronger focus on educational outcomes instead of equal educational opportunities would counter these dangers. Nevertheless, it is implausible to fully replace the demand for equal educational opportunities with the demand for equal educational outcomes.
Descriptors: Equal Education, Educational Opportunities, Equal Opportunities (Jobs), Social Justice, Advocacy, Educational Resources, Access to Education, Educational Demand, Educational Objectives, Academic Ability, Talent, Role of Education
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
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