In Pursuit of Equality in Educational Policy Making: A Capacity-Based Framework

By Shelley Spurr.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Canada, a country of considerable wealth and resources, has one of the highest standards of living in the world. Nonetheless, there are still many people deprived of the basic needs for well-being. This country is politically organized as a democracy which is supportive of political and civil freedoms, yet inequalities among certain populations prevail. Although there have been significant initiatives to solve this problem of inequality, a definitive solution has not yet been found due to the fact that inequality can be interpreted in many different ways. Within the school system, an educational policy can serve to address an inequality. Hence, the purpose of this article is to present a capacity-based framework as a guide for developing educational policy and to illustrate the importance of measuring inequality within all the dimensions of human need as set out by Amartya Sen. Amartya Sen, writes in the areas of inequality, ethics, welfare economics, justice, gender inequality, health economics, poverty, social, and political philosophy. Furthermore, the situated conditions of First Nations people will be used as an example of an application of the capacity-based framework. This method of measuring inequality provides a deeper and more thorough evaluation, which can have implications for educational policy and can result in more significant progress towards an equal and just society.

Keywords: Educational Policy, Inequality, Well-Being, First Nations, Capacity-Based Framework, Justice

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp.75-82. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 685.857KB).

Prof. Shelley Spurr

Assistant Professor, College of Nursing, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada

I recently accepted an Assistant Professor-Tenure Track position after working as a part-time pediatric clinical instructor for 11 years for the College of Nursing. I have an undergraduate degree in nursing and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Saskatchewan. I am currently a PhD student in the Educational Administration program at the College of Education, University of Saskatchewan. I have a variety of work experience, including teaching, working as a staff nurse in pediatrics and in public health services. My research interest lies in the area of children and adolescent health and education with a particular focus on the promotion of wellness.


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