Towards a Philosophy of Technology in Education: Mapping the field

Michael A. Peters
Vol 22, Number 1-2, p.9
Technology is the new star ship in the policy fleet for governments around the world. While often conceptually inchoate and ill-defined, it figures as a new subject in national curricula, often as part of the new core. It is promoted in higher education as part of a thrust to develop links with industry and business in a series of new venture partnerships. The emphasis on technology in education also accords with initiativesto promote greater entrepreneurial skills and activity within so-called national systems of innovation. In short, technology is seen to be a key driver towards the knowledge economy. Yet technology is not often theorised or well understood. Philosophy of technology is a newly emergent field although a poor cousin to philosophy of science. This paper outlines three major research programmes (after Lakatos) in philosophy of technology and discusses in turn their implications for a distinctively educational philosophy of technology. First, the Heideggerian programme, based upon Martin Heidegger's The Question Concerning Technology (1977, orig. 1949) developed in different ways by his student Herbert Marcuse in One Dimensional Man (1964), by Michel Foucault in Technologies of the Self (1988), and by Hubert Dreyfus in On the Internet (2001a). Second, the socialist-feminist programme best exemplified in Donna Haraway's Manifesto for Cyborgs (198 5/ 1991). Third, the social constructionist programme developed most recently by Andrew Feenberg in Questioning Technology (1999).