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Applying the Capability Approach to the French Education System: An Assessment of the "Pourquoi pas moi ?"

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Abstract

This paper attempts to re-examine the notion of equality, going beyond the classic opposition in France between affirmative action and meritocratic equality. Hence, we propose shifting the French debate about equality of opportunities in education to the question of how to raise equality of capability. In this paper we propose an assessment based on the capability approach of a mentoring programme called 'Une grande école: pourquoi pas moi?' ('A top-level university: why not me?' (PQPM) launched in 2002 by a top French business school. The assessment of PQPM is based on the pairing of longitudinal data available for 324 PQPM students with national data. Results show that the 'adaptive preferences' of the PQPM students change through a process of empowerment. Students adopt new 'elitist' curricula but feel free to follow alternative paths.

Suggested Citation

  • André, Kévin, 2013. "Applying the Capability Approach to the French Education System: An Assessment of the "Pourquoi pas moi ?"," ESSEC Working Papers WP1316, ESSEC Research Center, ESSEC Business School.
  • Handle: RePEc:ebg:essewp:dr-13016
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    File URL: http://hal-essec.archives-ouvertes.fr/docs/00/88/02/46/PDF/WP1316.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Paul Anand & Graham Hunter & Ian Carter & Keith Dowding & Francesco Guala & Martin Van Hees, 2009. "The Development of Capability Indicators," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(1), pages 125-152.
    2. Tania Burchardt, 2009. "Agency Goals, Adaptation and Capability Sets," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(1), pages 3-19.
    3. Jerome Ballet & Jean-Luc Dubois & FranCois-Regis Mahieu, 2007. "Responsibility for Each Other's Freedom: Agency as the Source of Collective Capability," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(2), pages 185-201.
    4. Alkire, Sabina, 2005. "Valuing Freedoms: Sen's Capability Approach and Poverty Reduction," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199283316.
    5. Sabina Alkire, 2005. "Why the Capability Approach?," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(1), pages 115-135.
    6. Quinn McNemar, 1947. "Note on the sampling error of the difference between correlated proportions or percentages," Psychometrika, Springer;The Psychometric Society, vol. 12(2), pages 153-157, June.
    7. Sen, Amartya, 1995. "Inequality Reexamined," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198289289.
    8. Rosie Peppin Vaughan & Melanie Walker, 2012. "Capabilities, Values and Education Policy," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(3), pages 495-512, August.
    9. Sabina Alkire, 2005. "Subjective Quantitative Studies of Human Agency," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 74(1), pages 217-260, October.
    10. Sakiko Fukuda-Parr, 2003. "The Human Development Paradigm: Operationalizing Sen'S Ideas On Capabilities," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(2-3), pages 301-317.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Adaptive Preferences; Agency; Assessment; Capability; Education; France;

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs

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