23 SES 03 C, Digital Literacy, Curricula and Competence
Digitalisation has brought about new prerequisites and conditions for citizenship education of young people all over the world. Globally, there are competing long-lived discourses on digitalisation related to education. On the one hand, digitalisation has been articulated in terms of risks and danger for education. On the other hand, digitalisation has been celebrated as the promise that will solve many, if not all, educational problems (Cuban, 1986; Selwyn, 2014; Lewin, 2016). Furthermore, research has also claimed the promise of digitalising in terms of efficiency (Selwyn, 2014). Research about digital technologies in educational settings is commonly reproducing this efficiency discourse by taking it for granted rather than problematizing it.
An occupancy with technologically determinist perspectives is leading to analysis in terms of impact and effect with less focus on the complexities of social issues (Selwyn 2014), as well as fields concerned with social issues such as citizenship education. Despite the fact that one of the main goals of education globally is to foster young people for democracy, the prerequisites and conditions for citizenship education set by digitalisation still needs deeper investigation by research.
International organisations, such as OECD and UNESCO, have formulated frameworks for teachers’ ICT competencies. Such frameworks function as policy documents, pointing out normative directions for teachers work and for countries policy development concerning ICT in education. The aim of this study is to contribute with knowledge about the ways in which digital resources are related to teaching of citizenship education in international frameworks for digital education.
The relationship between democracy and education has been thoroughly studied and reflected on by educational researchers and (educational) philosophers (i.e. Kant, 1784/1992; Dewey, 1916). The contemporary educational philosopher Biesta says that historically it is possible to discern two main ways of understanding the relationship between democracy and education: education for democracy and education through democracy (2007). Education for democracy comprises the transmission of values, knowledge, and skills to students so that in the future they will be able to act as democratic citizens. Education through democracy is about students acquiring democratic values, knowledge, and skills through engaging in democratic processes in school. The understanding of education through democracy can be derived from Dewey’s classical work, Democracy and Education from 1916, in which he stresses that in a vital democracy, democracy is not only a form of government but also a form of life. In this work, Dewey also stresses that a form of life, a community, is always held together through the sharing of common interests, which are constituted in communication (1916).
Biesta has suggested that in an analysis of the purpose of education a distinction should be made between three functions: qualification, socialisation, and subjectification (2006, 2011, 2014). Of specific interest in our study is the two concepts socialisation, and subjectification in relation to citizenship education. Socialisation focuses on the preparation of citizens-to-be for the successful entering into an already existing socio-political order, whereas subjectification concerns the way that democratic subjectivity is developed by engagement in political processes. Citizenship education as socialisation presupposes knowledge about what constitutes a good citizen, while the starting point of citizenship education as subjectification is the political subjects’ very “desire for democracy” (Biesta 2011:151) without knowledge of where this desire leads.
In the analysis of the framework we apply the distinction proposed by Biesta between socialisation and subjectification (2014, 2011), which helps us to focus on the following questions:
To what extent and how does digitalisation provide possibilities for, and challenges to, citizenship education? How are citizenship and citizenship education constructed in discourses actualised by frameworks for digital citizenship education?
Discourse analysis leaning on Michel Foucault has been essential for this kind of policy analysis studies. This methodology is focusing on the systems that make some observations possible in certain contexts, while others are not (Howarth & Torfing, 2005). It is thus about specifying sociohistorically variable 'discursive formations', system of rules which make it possible for certain statements, ideas and ideals, but not others to occur at particular times, places and institutional locations. An important motivation for the study of discourse in language education policy rests on the assumption that policy is never constant, but in perpetual motion and therefore under construction. In drawing attention to this, Ball, Maguire and Braun (2012, 3-4) suggest an understanding of policy in terms of material and enactment, rather than implementation: ‘Policy is not “done” at one point in time; it is always a process of “becoming”’. This becoming of language learning policy is our main interest. Discourse analysis as methodology is important for the way we pose our research questions in this study. But it is also the method of analysis used in the study. To conduct this analysis we make use of some analytical question concerning the ways the text construct ideas and ideals about citizenship: What is thereby (by the actualizations of specific discourses that are available) constructed as important in the text? How it this done (is it reoccurring, stressed, exemplified…)? What is thus constructed as less important or not important? How is this done (is it minimally mentioned, left out, not exemplified)? The material analyzed in this study is: UNESCO ICT Competency Framework for Teachers (2011) and the OECD framework, European Framework for the Digital Competence of Educators (DigCompEdu) (2017).
Four discursive constructions of digital citizenship education (DCE) were analytically discerned through the discursive analysis. These are: 1) DCE for economic growth discourse, 2) DCE for entrepreneurship discourse, 3) DCE as pedagogy, and 4) DSE as digital literacy discourse. Even though the four constructions can be analytically discerned as four distinctive discourses, they are at the same time mutually embedded and interdependent. DCE for economic growth as an educational aim can be understood as a prerequisite for human rights and citizenship; without a functioning economy and a certain level of welfare, the other educational aims will be impossible to achieve. Both frameworks, and the analytically discerned discursive constructions of digital citizenship education, are produced in manifest intertextuality with other policy documents that construct education as means for poverty reduction and improved life quality. In both frameworks, DCE for entrepreneurship is actualised as the acquisition of knowledge and skills for entrepreneurship as the highest level of learning outcome. Entrepreneurship is constructed as setting one’s one goals and study plans, experimentation, collaborative learning and communication, dealing with real world problems or to contribute to professional practice or knowledge. DCE as pedagogy constructs learning in different stages: 1. Basic skills and abilities of ICT resources related to a teacher centred teaching in different subjects, 2. Deep understanding of real world problems related to student-centred education with collaborative learning where ICT resources are integrated 3. Knowledge creation by engaging students in innovation as part of life-long learning; collaborative learning and communication; radical student-centred education DCE as digital literacy is constructed on a scale from basic knowledge and skills to an integrated part of complex problem solving (where the problem sometimes is defined as related to digital technique). In the discussion, these results are related to the conceptions socialisation and subjectification.
Ball, S. J., Maguire, M., Braun, A., (2012). How schools do policy – policy enactments in secondary schools. London & New York: Routledge. Biesta, G. J. J., (2006). Beyond Learning: Democratic Education for a Human Future. Boulder: Paradigm Publishers. Biesta, G. J. J., (2011) The ignorant citizen: Mouffe, Rancière, and the subject of democratic education. Studies in Educational Philosophy 30. s 141-153 Biesta, G.J.J., (2014) Learning in Public Places: Civic Learning for the Twenty-First Century. In G. J. J. Biesta et al. Civic learning, democratic citizenship and the public sphere. New York: Springer, p. 1-11. Cuban, L., (1986). Teachers and Machines The Classroom Use of Technology Since 1920. New York: Teachers College Press. Dewey, J., (1916/2007). Democracy and Education. Sioux Falls S. D.: NuVision Publication. Howarth, D. & Torfing, J., (2005). Discourse Theory in European Politics: Identity, Policy and Governance. London: Palgrave Macmillan. Kant, I. (1784/1992). An answer to the question: What is Enlightment? In P. Waugh (Ed.), Critique of Pure Reason. New York: St. Martin’s Press. Lewin, D., (2016). The Pharmakon of Educational Technology: The Disruptive Power of Attention in Education. Studies in Philosophy and Education 35 (3) 251-265 Selwyn, N., (2014). Distrusting Educational Technology –Critical Questions for Changing Times. London: Routledge.
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