Advertisement

Learning from a Deceptively Spacious Policy Discourse

  • Sarah HayesEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Research in Networked Learning book series (RINL)

Abstract

In this chapter, the way in which varied terms such as Networked learning, e-learning and Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) have each become colonised to support a dominant, economically-based world view of educational technology is discussed. Critical social theory about technology, language and learning is brought into dialogue with examples from a corpus-based Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) of UK policy texts for educational technology between 1997 and 2012. Though these policy documents offer much promise for enhancement of people’s performance via technology, the human presence to enact such innovation is missing. Given that ‘academic workload’ is a ‘silent barrier’ to the implementation of TEL strategies (Gregory & Lodge, 2015), analysis further exposes, through empirical examples, that the academic labour of both staff and students appears to be unacknowledged. Global neoliberal capitalist values have strongly territorialised the contemporary university (Hayes and Jandrić. Open Review of Educational Research, 1(1), 193–210, 2014), utilising existing naïve, utopian arguments about what technology alone achieves. Whilst the chapter reveals how humans are easily ‘evicted’, even from discourse about their own learning (Hayes. Evicted by words: Seeking to reoccupy educational technology policy texts, 2015), it also challenges staff and students to seek to re-occupy the important territory of policy to subvert the established order. We can use the very political discourse that has disguised our networked learning practices, in new explicit ways, to restore our human visibility.

Keywords

Networked learning E-learning Technology enhanced learning Critical discourse analysis Policy discourse Hidden academic labour 

References

  1. Baker, P. (2006). Using corpora in discourse analysis. London: Continuum.Google Scholar
  2. Ball, S. J. (1999). Educational Reform and the Struggle for the Soul of the Teacher!. Faculty of Education, Hong Kong Institute of Educational Research, Chinese University of Hong Kong.Google Scholar
  3. Barnett, R. (2000). Realising the University in an age of supercomplexity. Oxford: SRHE and Open University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Braudel, F. (1985). Civilisation and capitalism 15th–18th century: The structures of everyday life: The limits of the possible (Vol. 1). London: William Collins.Google Scholar
  5. Breeze, R. (2013). Critical discourse analysis and its critics. Pragmatics, 21(4), 493.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Campbell, J. L., & Pedersen, O. K. (Eds.). (2001). The rise of neoliberalism and institutional analysis. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Dahlberg, L. (2004). Internet research tracings: Towards non-reductionist methodology. Journal of Computer Mediated Communication, 7(1). Retrieved September 24, 2013, from http://jcmc.indiana.edu/vol7/missue1/dahlberg.html.
  8. Dall’Alba, G. (2009). Learning professional ways of being: Ambiguities of becoming. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 41(1), 34–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Edgar, A., & Sedgwick, P. (Eds.). (2007). Cultural theory: The key concepts. Routledge.Google Scholar
  10. Edgehill e-Learning Strategy (2005). Quoted in Hayes, S. (2015). Counting on use of technology to enhance learning. In Critical Learning in Digital Networks (pp. 15–36). Springer International Publishing.Google Scholar
  11. Fairclough, N. (2007). Global capitalism and change in higher education: Dialectics of language and practice, technology, ideology. In BAAL conference, Edinburgh.Google Scholar
  12. Feenberg, A. (2003). What is philosophy of technology? Retrieved September 24, 2013, from http://www.sfu.ca/~andrewf/komaba.htm.
  13. Foucault, M. (1984). Power/knowledge. New York, NY: Pantheon.Google Scholar
  14. Freire, P. (1969). Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York, NY: Continuum.Google Scholar
  15. Goodyear, P., Hodgson, V., & McConnell, D. (2004). Research on networked learning: An overview. In P. Goodyear, S. Banks, V. Hodgson, & D. McConnell (Eds.), Advances in research on networked learning. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.Google Scholar
  16. Graham, P. (2001). Space: Irrealis objects in technology policy and their role in a new political economy. Discourse and Society, 12(6), 761–788.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gramsci, A. (1971). Selections from the prison notebooks. London: Lawrence & Wishart.Google Scholar
  18. Greener, I., & Perriton, L. (2005). The political economy of networked learning communities in higher education. Studies in Higher Education, 30(1), 67–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Gregory, M.S.J. & Lodge, J. M. (2015). Academic workload: the silent barrier to the implementation of technology-enhanced learning strategies in higher education, Distance Education.Google Scholar
  20. Hall, S., Massey, D., & Rustin, M. (2013). After neoliberalism: Analysing the present. Soundings, 53(53), 8–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Halliday, M. A. K. (1994). An introduction to functional grammar (2nd ed.). London: Arnold.Google Scholar
  22. Harvey, D. (2005). A brief history of neoliberalism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  23. Hayes, S. (2015). Evicted by words: Seeking to reoccupy educational technology policy texts. Retrieved September 21, 2015, from http://ipa2015.sciencesconf.org/resource/page/id/76.
  24. Hayes, S., & Jandrić, P. (2014). Who is really in charge of contemporary education? People and technologies in, against and beyond the neoliberal university. Open Review of Educational Research, 1(1), 193–210.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Heidegger, M. (1977). The question concerning technology and other essays. New York, London: Garland Publishing.Google Scholar
  26. Hoey, M. (1991). Pattern of lexis in text. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Hunston, S. (2002). Corpora in applied linguistics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Jessop, B. (2008). The knowledge based economy. Article prepared for Naked Punch. Retrieved October 3, 2013, from http://www.nakedpunch.com/.
  29. Joint Information Systems Committee. (2009). Effective practice in a digital age. Retrieved October 1, 2013, from http://www.jisc.ac.uk/publications/programmerelated/2009/effectivepracticedigitalage.aspx.
  30. Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC). (2012). JISC strategy 2010–2012. Retrieved October 1, 2013, from http://www.jisc.ac.uk/aboutus/strategy/strategy1012/context.aspx.
  31. Jones, C. (2002). Is there a policy for networked learning? In Proceedings of the Networked Learning 2002 Conference, 26–28 March 2002, Sheffield, UK.Google Scholar
  32. Jones, C. (2012). Networked learning, stepping beyond the Net Generation and Digital Natives. In Exploring the theory, pedagogy and practice of networked learning (pp. 27–41). New York, NY: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Jørgensen, M. W., & Phillips, L. J. (2002). Discourse analysis as theory and method. Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Lash, S. (2002). Critique of information. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  35. Latour, B. (1992). Where are the missing masses? The sociology of a few mundane artifacts. In Shaping technology/building society: Studies in sociotechnical change (pp. 225–258). Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  36. Marcuse, H. (1964). One-dimensional man: Studies in the Ideology of Advanced Industrial Society. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  37. Marx, K. (1867). Capitalism and the modern labour process. Capital, volume 1. In R. C. Scharff & V. Dusek (Eds.), (2003). Philosophy of technology: The technological condition: An anthology. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  38. Massey, D. (2013). Vocabularies of the economy. Soundings, 54(54), 9–22. Retrieved October 1, 2013, from http://www.lwbooks.co.uk/journals/soundings/contents.html.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Matthewman, S. (2011). Technology and social theory. New York, NY: Palgrave.Google Scholar
  40. Mautner, G. (2005). The entrepreneurial university: A discursive profile of a higher education buzzword. Critical Discourse Studies, 2(2), 95–120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. McLaren, P. (1994). Life in schools. New York, NY: Longman.Google Scholar
  42. McLuhan, M. (2005). Understanding media: Lectures and interviews. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  43. Mulderrig, J. (2011). The grammar of governance. Critical Discourse Studies, 8(1), 45–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Parchoma, G., & Keefer, J. M. (2012). Transdisciplinary research in technology enhanced/networked learning practices. In V. Hodgson, C. Jones, M. de Laat, D. McConnell, T. Ryberg, & P. Sloep (Eds.), Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Networked Learning. Maastricht: Lancaster University.Google Scholar
  45. Ritzer, G. (1998). The Weberian theory of rationalization and the McDonaldization of contemporary society. In Illuminating social life: Classical and contemporary theory revisited (pp. 37–61). London: Sage.Google Scholar
  46. Ross, P. (2004). Globalization and the closing of the universe of discourse: The contemporary relevance of Marcuse’s Marxism. The European Legacy: Toward New Paradigms, 9(4), 455–467.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Scott, M. (1997). PC analysis of key words—And key key words. System, 25(2), 233–245.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Sennett, R. (2006). The culture of the new capitalism. Yale, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  49. Sezneva, O. (2007). We have never been German: The economy of digging in Russian Kaliningrad. In C. Calhoun & R. Sennett (Eds.), Practicing culture (pp. 13–34). Abingdon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  50. Shore, C., Wright, S., & Però, D. (Eds.). (2011). Policy worlds: Anthropology and the analysis of contemporary power (Vol. 14). Oxford: Berghahn Books.Google Scholar
  51. Sørensen, E. (2009). The materiality of learning: Technology and knowledge in educational practice. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Thompson, G. (Ed.). (1991). Markets, hierarchies and networks: The coordination of social life. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  53. Wajcman, J. (2002). Addressing technological change: The challenge to social theory. Current Sociology, 5(3), 347–363.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Weber, M. (1930). The protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism. London: George Allen & Unwin.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Learning, Innovation and Professional PracticeAston UniversityBirminghamUK

Personalised recommendations