The performance of education systems

  • Raf Vanderstraeten


In the past decades, national governments have strived for the realization of a number of ideals, and have initiated numerous reforms of our societal structures. Ideological convictions have often been at the root of particular initiatives, for example in the field of economic policy. Several political strategies and interventions were, as a consequence, fiercely disputed. A few issues and ideals, however, have been of persistent and consistent concern in the political field. The ‘democratization’ of education is such an issue. There is, during the entire postwar period in Europe, little difference of opinion as to the relevance of public expenditures for education. Material investments and internal educational reforms have been generously sponsored by governments since the 1950s. Numerous new school buildings were constructed. Teacher education was expanded. Comprehensive educational structures were introduced, while trying to provide for equality of opportunity and to eliminate the influence of social background. Compulsory education has been extended, in most countries to the age of 16 or even 18 years. Et cetera (cf, e.g., Jonsson, Mills & Müller 1996).


Education System Functional Differentiation Compulsory Education Social Complexity Educational Expansion 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Raf Vanderstraeten
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Social SciencesUtrecht UniversityUtrecht

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