Equalisation of educational opportunity is seen as a condition for achieving a more equal society. However, the association between educational and material advantage has proved remarkably durable. This chapter argues that far-reaching reforms are required – including action to reduce material inequality directly – if education is to be effective in achieving social justice. It outlines the evidence for persistent inequality, acknowledging that progress has been made but indicating the ways in which broader social inequalities affect educational opportunity. Educational expansion pursued in isolation from other policies to reduce inequality and social opportunity poses a twofold existential threat to the future of education. First, it increases the direct effects of social background on social mobility. Second, this may intensify a legitimation crisis, a growing disillusionment with the ability of education to underpin social progress. The chapter concludes by identifying educational and social reforms that are necessary to reduce these threats.
|Title of host publication||Meeting the Challenges of Existential Threats through Educational Innovation|
|Subtitle of host publication||A proposal for an expanded curriculum|
|Number of pages||18|
|Publication status||Published - 23 Dec 2021|