The basic principle of educational equality is that each child should receive an equally good education. This sounds appealing, but is rather vague and needs substantial working out. Also, educational equality faces all the objections to equality per se, plus others specific to its subject matter. Together these have eroded confidence in the viability of equality as an educational ideal. This article argues that equality of educational opportunity is not the best way of understanding educational equality. It focuses on Brighouse and Swift's well worked out meritocratic conception and finds it irretrievably flawed; they should, instead, have pursued a radical conception they only mention. This conception is used as a starting point for developing a luck egalitarian conception, pluralistic and complex in nature. It is argued that such a conception accounts for the appeal of equality of opportunity, fits with other values in education and meets many of the objections. Thus, equality is reasserted as what morally matters most in education
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/1467-9752.12048
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 54,593
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Rescuing Justice and Equality.G. A. Cohen (ed.) - 2008 - Harvard University Press.
Justice as Fairness: A Restatement.John Rawls (ed.) - 2001 - Harvard University Press.

View all 28 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Adequacy in Education and Normative School Choice.Adelin Dumitru - 2018 - Studies in Philosophy and Education 37 (2):123-146.
What's Wrong with Private Schools.Roger Marples - 2018 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 52 (1):19-35.
Educational Justice and Transnational Migration.Krassimir Stojanov - 2018 - Journal of Global Ethics 14 (1):34-46.

View all 7 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Why Should States Fund Schools?Harry Brighouse - 1998 - British Journal of Educational Studies 46 (2):138 - 152.
From Rawlsian Autonomy to Sufficient Opportunity in Education.Liam Shields - 2015 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 14 (1):1470594-13505413.
Equality, Justice and Legitimacy in Selection.Matthew Clayton - 2012 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 9 (1):8-30.
Describing Equality.Carl Knight - 2009 - Law and Philosophy 28 (4):327 - 365.
The 'Second Chance' Myth: Equality of Opportunity in Irish Adult Education Policies.Bernie Grummell - 2007 - British Journal of Educational Studies 55 (2):182 - 201.
Second-Order Equality and Levelling Down.Re'em Segev - 2009 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (3):425 – 443.


Added to PP index

Total views
36 ( #276,959 of 2,385,748 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #559,864 of 2,385,748 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes