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ERIC Number: EJ1200860
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0160-7561
On the Technology Fetish in Education: Ellul, Baudrillard, and the End of Humanity
Boyles, Deron; Kline, Kip
Philosophical Studies in Education, v49 p58-66 2018
Schools continue to purchase and install machines and practices from the world of communications technology. In turn, students and teachers are purported to be more "connected," and this connectivity is widely viewed as having a positive influence on teaching and learning. In this paper, however, the authors argue that not only are these claims about better teaching and learning specious, but that the largely unreflective and zealous pursuit of new technologies by schools amounts to an acceptance of technological determinism and an adoption of a set of non-neutral ontological assumptions. This paper explores the views of French sociologist Jacques Ellul, who writes that we should not conflate technology with machinery alone because "technique" is the imposed ritualism we enact daily. Ellul's primary concern is that technique is taking over and subjugating humanity. It is replacing human interaction and altering what it means "to be." This paper also explores the views of Jean Baudrillard, a French sociologist, who writes that in contemporary times we seem to have so thoroughly embraced the loss of the symbolic and the cool forms of exchange that we now find it appropriate and perhaps even necessary to employ the latest mediating technology in educational endeavors. This paper proceeds in three parts: (1) elucidating Ellul's seven necessary conditions of and for "technique"; (2) reconsidering Baudrillard's simulation theory; and (3) positioning both theorists' arguments in a revised claim about the role of humanity in a world of ubiquitous technology. Implications for a more critical understanding of education are explored to develop counternarratives to challenge the overwhelming influence of technique and simulation.
Ohio Valley Philosophy of Education Society. Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A