The pedagogical relation in a technological age

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There is no doubt that modern technology has changed education, but these changes bring with them questions and challenges. How should educators respond to the widespread technological changes that herald the demise of the conventional school (Masschelein and Simons 2013)? Not only does school look rather 19th century, the figure of the teacher appears to be a quaint anachronism whose days are numbered. When students have access to the total(ized) knowledge of the Internet what kinds of educational authority are legitimate? Are we, indeed, witnessing what Postman, nearly half a century ago, called The Disappearance of Childhood? More insidious yet are the widespread effects of a technological culture that render educational systems accountable exclusively to the reductive pressures of the bureaucratic iron cage (Dunne 1997). Education as the "production of learning outcomes" (Masschelein and Simons 2013, 18) appears as inescapable as it is alienating as it has become mass production. National or international school and university league tables have become a ubiquitous feature of our efforts to "improve" education, even if such improvements are not unequivocally "good" (Biesta 2011; Flint and Peim 2011). Most relevant to this essay, however, is the conflation of education and learning, and the consequent erosion of the figure of the teacher who is able to exercise appropriate educational judgement (Biesta 2017)
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInterpreting Technology
Subtitle of host publicationRicoeur on Questions Concerning Ethics and Philosophy of Technology
EditorsWessel Reijers, Alberto Romele, Mark Coeckelbergh
Place of PublicationLanham, Maryland
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781538153475
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2021


  • pedagogy
  • pedagogical relation
  • technological age
  • Ricoeur
  • Heidegger
  • education


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