Promoting Distributive Justice in Education and the Challenge of Unpredictability

Tal Gilead*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


This article examines how the existence of unpredictability should influence the quest to promote distributive justice in education. First, the article briefly discusses resource allocation in education finance policy and its relationships with existing philosophical theories of distributive justice. It then explains why unpredictability comes into play in education and how this endangers the achievements of distributive justice. It is argued that unpredictability poses a real challenge to enhancing educational justice. Second, the article examines the common policy conception that educational justice can best be promoted by reducing unpredictability through means of increased control. It is maintained that the costs of this solution exceed its benefits. Finally, the article offers alternative routes for dealing with unpredictability in educational resource allocations. It is argued that we have good reasons, both normative and practical, to embrace a new approach for furthering distributive justice in education that takes into account the complexity of the educational system.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)439-451
Number of pages13
JournalStudies in Philosophy and Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - 15 Jul 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, Springer Nature B.V.


  • Complexity theory
  • Distributive justice
  • Education finance
  • Theory
  • Unpredictability


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