Inequality in Education: What Educators Can and Cannot Change
28T08:15:33Z May 2019
This paper examines the anti-egalitarian forces that undermine the realisation of equality in education, from within and without, while exploring the possibilities that education itself offers for the realisation of equality from within. The first section is devoted to the examination of how economic inequalities undermine egalitarian policies within schools and colleges. It analyses the ways the unequal distribution of income and wealth, legitimated through the ideologies of meritocracy, reproduce social class, racial and disability-related inequalities in education. While education cannot be held responsible for failing to eliminate injustices that are not generated within education in the first instance, educators are accountable for their collaboration with the unrealisable myth of meritocracy in increasingly economically unequal societies. As education plays a key role in intellectual formation, it has great potential to challenge injustices from within. The second section of the paper highlights two ways in which it can do this, by developing emancipatory pedagogical practices and respecting the intelligences of all learners from all classes on the one hand, and through reframing what is defined as valuable knowledge in a way that is gender-respectful on the other.
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Not peer reviewed
Connolly, M., Eddy-Spicer, D., James, C., Kruse S. (eds.). The SAGE Handbook of School Organization
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