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Chapter 7 The Critical Mindset in Times of Distrust


Since the National Agency for Education added “Digital competence” as a keyword and directive to the Swedish K12 Curricula (lgr11) in 2016, it has been the word on the lips of those involved in the business of educating children as a future workforce, and as both citizens and human beings (cf. Biesta). My approach to is less optimistic. Instead, it is more in line with Selwyn and Facer’s (2013, p. 6) notion of “critical studies of educational technology,” where the goal is to “open the black box of technology” (p. 10), to expose underlying political and economic logics and dominating narratives where digital technology is used as a “proxy signifier” for “the future” (p. 11). I carry out a conceptual analysis of digital competence along with its ideological and temporal inclinations. This analysis is influenced by a foucauldian discussion of governance as well as the German historian Reinhart Koselleck’s notion of “conceptual hermeneutics” and temporal phenomenology, the aim being to decode how the agency of teachers is constructed through a policy-driven and individualistic futurology, based on the neoliberal assumption that educational technology is the solution to current problems in schools ().

In: Education for Democracy 2.0