Faculty Publications

Edtech, Market Logics, And Pedagogic Containment: Critical Pedagogies For A Critical Moment

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Handbook of Critical Approaches to Politics and Policy of Education

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While questions surrounding the relationship between education and technology have captured the attention of critical educational scholars in recent decades, such concerns have taken on new import. Although technology had become a progressively pervasive feature of schooling in the years preceding COVID-19, the swift shift to remote and hybrid forms of instruction rendered necessary by the ongoing pandemic has restructured higher education in ways that are likely to last beyond the current crisis. In light of the corporate interests at stake in the EdTech market, such developments warrant attentive scrutiny. In addition to the ways in which COVID-19 has opened up opportunities for technology companies to financially capitalize on the ongoing crisis, I argue that this moment has, perhaps more importantly, laid the groundwork for ideological capitalization that will likely accelerate market orientations toward education that risk foreclosing possibilities for critical pedagogies. Drawing on the work of Herbert Marcuse and Paulo Freire, I argue that EdTech reifies market logics in higher education and renders teaching increasingly vulnerable to mechanisms of standardization, surveillance, and the logics of neoliberal techno-rationality that foreclose possibilities for pedagogic autonomy. I then explore Freire's theorizing on the roles of freedom and autonomy in a critical educational paradigm to argue that the tradition of critical pedagogy offers important insights for challenging the creeping digital hegemony in higher education.


Department of Educational Psychology, Foundations, and Leadership Studies

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