Danielle Allen’s recent book, Education and Equality, forwards a much-needed perspective for considering the relationship between education and equality in an era in which the value of education seems to be almost unquestionably commensurate with the economic payback it produces in terms of future job earnings. Rather than thinking of education only as a proxy for the transmission of technical know-how and skill that can lead to higher-paying jobs and ultimately improve conditions of economic inequality in our society, Allen took up the intrinsic relationship between education and equality in which the practice of human development, in itself, contributes to “a citizenry ready to participate maximally in our shared project of self-governance.” Drawing on the philosophies of John Rawls, Hannah Arendt, and ultimately pragmatism, Allen detailed an account of what she termed the humanistic baseline of education to clear the way for understanding what education is and how it, in itself, contributes to equality.

education and equality cover.jpg (224 kB)
Book cover