Anticipating Education: Governing Habits, Memories and Policy-Futures – Learning, Media and Technology – article

Anticipating Education: Governing Habits, Memories and Policy-Futures

P. Taylor Webb, Sam Sellar, Kalervo N. Gulson | Learning, Media and Technology


The use of data to govern education is increasingly supported by the use of knowledge-based technologies, including algorithms, artificial intelligence (AI), and tracking technologies [Fenwick, T., E. Mangez, and J. Ozga. 2014. Governing Knowledge: Comparison, Knowledge-Based Technologies and Expertise in the Regulation of Education. New York, NY: Routledge].1 New forms of datafication and automation enable governments and other powerful stakeholders to draw from the past to construct images of educational futures in order to steer the present. This paper examines the competing conceptions of time and temporality that AI posits for policy and practice when used to anticipate educational futures. We argue that most educational futures are already delineated, and machinic expressions of time are the chronologies, habits, and memories that the educated subject inhabits rather than produces. If resetting educational habits and memories can be an alternative to algorithmic anticipations of education then we believe, paradoxically, that machines may help to reset them by accelerating them.


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