Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Educational Administration and Supervision


This study traces the historical similarities and differences of the educational systems of the United States and South Africa with regards to provision of equal educational opportunity for blacks and whites. The premise of the thesis is that South Africa and the United States have similar educational histories when comparing them on the variable of the denial of equal educational opportunities to black students up until the 19 50 1 s when the provision of educational opportunity in the two countries developed in totally opposite directions. Educational provision in both countries is analyzed during five different time periods: the colonial period, the period of industrialization, the period of de jure segregation, the period of resistance and change, and the situation in the two countries today. It is found that starting in the 1950's, the United States has taken; significant steps to reduce educational inequalities for blacks. Black educational outcomes and adult economic opportunities, however, persist in being interior, and reforms are thus still part of an unfinished agenda. In South Africa, little to no progress has· been made in reducing educational inequalities between blacks and whites. Blacks continue to be disadvantaged in educational provisions, outcomes and economic opportunities in later life.


Presented to the Faculty of Education University of Nebraska at Omaha In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts. Copyright 1991 Veronica M. Ulrich