Revealing the transformatory moment of learning technology: the place of critical social theory

Richard Hall

Abstract

In revealing the transformatory moment of learning technology, a holistic andongoing critique that is related to a range of socio-cultural factors is required.This critique further uncovers the social relations that frame the place of learningtechnology in bourgeois capitalist work and the development of the knowledgeeconomy. This article argues that critical social theory, and the social and powerrelationships that it highlights, is central to the uncovering of this revelation. Asa result of a holistic, or totalising, analysis based upon the political economy oftechnology in education, a framework that enables educators to examine its educationalvalue is uncovered. Iterating and re-producing this framework works asa constant critique of educational practice within capitalism, and critiques deterministicor hegemonic views of technology-as-progress. As a result, this articleseeks to demonstrate how critical social theory might enable educators to analyselearning technology as historically situated, and thereby to use critique to revealand produce practical alternatives to sociocultural problems.

10.1080/21567069.2011.624996

Keywords

critical social theory; learning technology; education; transformation; political economy

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