教育社会学研究
Online ISSN : 2185-0186
Print ISSN : 0387-3145
ISSN-L : 0387-3145
《教育機会の平等》の再検討と《公共財としての教育》の可能性
公立学校からの退出を事例として
卯月 由佳
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ジャーナル フリー

2004 年 74 巻 p. 169-187

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A significant body of literature has questioned the effectiveness of education inequalizing society. In addition, certain developed countries, such as the U. K. andthe U. S. A., have begun to emphasize efficiency over equality and, consequently, to apply market mechanisms to their education systems, as has Japan since themid-1980s, despite its reputation for a centralized and standardized educationpolicy. It is far from impossible, however, to justify the public provision ofeducation. Therefore, this paper attempts to demonstrate the benefits of publiceducation from the perspective of “education as a public good” instead of “education as a private good” which is often the goal of researchers aiming at “equality of educational opportunity.” For this purpose, the following threeproblems are considered in this paper.
Firstly, the author describes the tendency to regard education as a privategood, or an opportunity for an individual to acquire credentials, as a limitationon equalizing society. This is because the price mechanism under which privategoods are provided does not guarantee the equality of outcome, and depends oncircumstantial value judgments in a society, namely whether or not a privategood is supplied by the government.
Secondly, when defining education as a public good, public provision in turncan be justified by its characteristic as a good. Education is determined to be apublic good because it supplies the knowledge and people which support ourmodern lives and systems.
However, the current education policy is shaking the foundation of “educationas a public good.” Hence finally, the author examines the substantialproblems accompanying the new standard of achievement in public schools, using qualitative data collected from members of the upper social strata who hadtheir children exit the public school system and enter private schools. It isdiscovered that not only has the legitimacy of the knowledge been declined, butalso an exclusion mechanism (hurting children's self-respect, which is defined byRawls as the most important primary good), caused by its evaluation systemwhich covers various aspects of personality, has taken place in public schools.These findings suggest that in order to prevent exclusion, knowledge as a publicgood must be characterized as follows: it must be standardized, stable and ableto overcome the negative effect of instability and short-term vision humanbeings often acquire.
Even though education policy has fewer practical effects on the finalprovision of goods than other welfare state policies, it has become clear that ithas an important role to play in supplying the knowledge needed to executeother policies. We accordingly have to place education in the broader context ofequalizing society. In concrete terms, in addition to the inequality between socialgroups in providing “education as a private good, ” the individual hardship ofbeing excluded from “education as a public good” should be taken as a socialproblem.

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