• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index


A meritocracy can be defined as a system in which the rewards (wealth and privilege) are distributed according to individual merit. In other words, good things will accrue to those who work hard and do well. A meritocratic society is generally distinguished from an aristocratic one in which wealth, position, and privilege were received as a function of one's ancestry and family background. In theory, a meritocratic society is more fair because any individual has the possibility of being successful and achieving at a high level. In actuality, meritocratic beliefs are often linked to decisions about differential access to rigorous curriculum and high level pedagogy that maintain social-economic stratification among students. For this reason, conceptions of meritocracy impact greatly the areas of curriculum design and ...

    • Loading...
    locked icon

    Sign in to access this content

    Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

    • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
    • Read modern, diverse business cases
    • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles