Educational Justice: Equality Versus Adequacy
The debate on justice in education has long been focused on the idea of equality. Those who criticize education systems for being unjust often point to inequalities within these systems. In this respect, they often use the notion of equality of opportunity. In recent years, however, an alternative to equality-based conceptions of educational justice has arisen. Adequacy-oriented accounts claim that we should consider an education system as just, if all students can gain an adequate education. In this view, it is not necessary to distribute education (or educational opportunity) equitably among the students. This idea arose in American public discourse, and in legislation regarding education, and was taken up in philosophical theory (Anderson 2007; Satz 2007; see also Koski and Reich 2007).
In what follows, the main lines of argument in the debate between philosophical adherents of equality and adequacy in education are outlined. This is a debate within the context of distributive...
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