Shifting from equity to adequacy in education policy making: Taiwan’s experience

Curriculum and competences
This paper aims to exam the concept of social justice, equity and fairness in educational arena and its change toward adequacy. In Taiwan, a shift is occurring in education policy making from equity to adequacy, and from emphasis on inputs to emphasis on high minimum outcomes as the goal of educational policy. By examining an equity oriented, longitudinal policy – Educational Priority Area, this paper will argue that a true adequacy mechanism is emerging. Taiwan is experiencing a systematical change of policy making that links resources to outcomes to ensure all students receive an adequate level of education. In Taiwan, the initiative of Education Priority Area started from 1995, based on the idea of “positive discrimination” developed in UK during 1960s. Contrary to the decline in UK, Education Priority Area in Taiwan is getting its focus and extends its influence in delivering diverse education services. This paper has traced this policy back from 1995 to 2009 and analyzes its change in contents. The documental analysis has been taken as the main research method in this paper to explore the deep and wide context of this meaningful policy in terms of social justice, equity and fairness. The findings of this paper will indicate the concept of adequacy will be raised and enhanced in planning the related policies and delicatelize the practice of social justice, equity and fairness in education policy making.
Keywords: equity, adequacy, Education Priority Area. 
Ph.D. Robin Jung-Cheng Chen